Types of Eating Disorders

types of eating disorders

Last Updated on September 6, 2022 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS

Types of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders control 5% of the population, with most developing in adolescence and adulthood, according to the National Association for Eating Disorders. Most eating disorders, especially anorexia and bulimia nervosa, are more common in women, but anyone, regardless of gender or age, can suffer from an eating disorder.

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent alterations in eating behaviors that negatively affect the physical and mental health of the persons afflicted. In addition to having a negative impact on quality of life, eating disorders also control self-image, relationships with family and friends, and performance at school or work.

Most eating disorders are associated with an obsessive preoccupation with weight, body shape, food, or an anxiety to eat, leading to dangerous eating behaviors, which are driven similar to an addiction. These behaviors can significantly affect the body’s ability to obtain proper nutrition. Eating disorders can damage the heart, digestive system, bones, teeth, and mouth, while leading to other illnesses.

Treatment for these disorders must be addressed psychologically, behaviorally, nutritionally, and medically.

Types of eating disorders

Anorexia It is characterized by the extreme fear of gaining weight. Although these individuals may be very thin or even underweight, they view themselves as “fat.” Low weight is the effect of a pathological behavior of the affected person who performs a meticulous and exaggerated control of their food intake, due to the fear of gaining weight and the severe distortion of their body image, which is often associated with a low self esteem. People who suffer from anorexia start small and use certain rituals and mechanisms to avoid gaining weight. It is a disorder closely associated with an obsession with one’s physique and a slim figure. They may stop eating, take certain remedies to reduce their appetite, or use laxatives to drip weight quickly.


Bulimia. Like anorexia, bulimia also entails the fear of being overweight and is characterized by frequent food binges. During crises, bulimic people ingest a large amount of food in an uncontrolled way and later perform purging rituals to avoid gaining weight. These rituals can be making you vomit and include exercising for long hours, not eating, or using diuretic and laxative products. This is often referred to as “binging and purging.”

Binge eating disorder or compulsive eating. A binge eating disorder is a condition in which people lose control of their eating and have recurrent episodes of consuming unusually large amounts of food. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with a binge eating disorder are often overweight or obese.


Impact of eating disorders on oral health

Eating disorders can affect a person’s oral health. Without proper nutrition, the tissues lose minerals and can develop osteoporosis, a condition that causes the deterioration of the jaws and a loss of support for the teeth. Insufficient nutrients can also cause mouth ulcers, gum inflammation, a dry mouth, and chapped lips. Likewise, according to the ADA, vomiting frequently affects the teeth  because stomach acids deteriorate their enamel, causing dental erosions, changes in color, the predisposition to cavities and dental fissures, and even the loss of the teeth themselves.

How to prevent eating disorders?

Eating disorders stem from a variety of physical, emotional, and social problems that need to be addressed to prevent and treat these disorders. While eating disorders seem to focus on body image, food, and weight, they often relate to many other topics. Support from and one’s closest social circle is important, as well as consultation with health professionals. Encouragement to seek treatment is essential to provide an early diagnosis and a possible intervention for recovery.

Contact Us

If you or someone close to you has an eating disorder, consider going to your trusted dentist. Your support can be very important in recovery, as well as in preventing or correcting dental problems. Going to health professionals to receive adequate treatment for eating disorder problems is transcendental.

Contact us at Channel Island Family Dental, as well as on our Facebook page. At Channel Island Family Dental, we are always attentive to your needs to make a timely diagnosis. In addition, our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Newbury Park  Ventura, and  Port Hueneme will guide you to the best treatment to give you back your best smile.

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