Minneapolis, St. Paul Orthodontics Blog

Football Players Receive Free Mouth Guards

May 29, 2013 News Comments Off

Prior Lake orthodonticsLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND BURNSVILLE, MN – Players in the Lakeville Football Association are getting some assistance from us in the safety department this summer.

We’re giving away free mouth guards to players in an effort to help them protect their teeth while they’re on the field.

Players can come to our Lakeville or Prior Lake orthodontics locations to be fitted for custom mouth guards.

For Dr. Trudy Bonvino, who treats patients from the surrounding communities of Shakopee, Savage and Burnsville, pediatric orthodontics goes beyond just brackets and elastics.

“Whether a child is in active orthodontic treatment or not, we encourage them to keep safety in mind when they’re playing sports,” she says. “A hit to the mouth can damage your brackets and cause serious cuts to the soft tissue in your mouth. But even if you don’t have braces, you can cause damage to your teeth and their alignment. We’re providing mouth guards to protect against these possibilities.”

It is important to note that if you are in Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment, you still need to wear a mouth guard while participating in contact sports because the Invisalign aligners do not offer adequate protection against blows to the mouth.

In addition to protecting the teeth, a mouth guard that fits properly also can protect players from concussion. Just as helmets and pads protect the body, mouth guards provide a cushion for the teeth and prevent the upper and lower jaws from being slammed together during a tackle. For more information on the signs and symptoms of concussions, please visit the Lakeville Football Association’s website.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.

Tooth Extraction and Facial Aesthetics

May 21, 2013 Article Comments Off

LAKEVILLE, SHAKOPEE AND FARMINGTON, MINNESOTA — There is a conversation that’s becoming more common among Shakopee orthodontists about the role tooth extraction plays in a person’s facial appearance.
For years, tooth extraction has been a routine part of orthodontic treatment to address crowding issues. But when technological advancements brought us palatal expanders and other appliances that helped us use a child’s growth to our advantage, it enabled us to make more room in the mouth to accommodate the teeth instead of always having to pull them.
Professionals began speculating that tooth extraction would make patients look older faster, as their skin and lips became thinner during the aging process and there were fewer teeth to support the cheeks. But this assumption isn’t true for every patient, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville, Prior Lake and Farmington braces expert.
“Each patient is different and unique in his or her own way,” Dr. Bonvino says. “There are cases where tooth extraction can actually improve facial appearance and profile, and others where it lessens the amount of skeletal support.”
We take several factors into consideration when determining the best course of action. One fact that is important to keep in mind is that some aesthetic effects of orthodontics for children won’t be seen until that patient is in his/her 30s or 40s.
Let’s say a young patient has teeth that protrude to the point that he can’t comfortably close his lips. In cases such as this, tooth extraction sometimes can actually improve upon his facial appearance. Other instances where tooth extraction sometimes is the preferred approach is when correcting an underbite or an overbite.
In cases where protrusion isn’t an issue, removal of teeth can create a more sunken, older appearance once the patient reaches adulthood and loses some of the plumpness in the face and lips due to the natural aging process, says Dr. Bonvino, who also offers Invisalign treatment at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics. The upper and lower incisors act as skeletal support for the lips. Your teeth also support your cheeks. When the first premolars are removed to make more room for crowded teeth, orthodontic movements that occur can cause a shift backward in the teeth, a narrow smile, and possibly sagging or drooping.
“This shift isn’t usually noticeable during childhood,” Dr. Bonvino pediatric dentistry expert says. “Younger children have thicker skin, more collagen and fuller lips. But the natural aging process thins our skin and lips.”
That means what is done today won’t likely be noticed for decades. By that time, it is possible for the patient’s profile to make them appear much older.
It is important to remember that everyone is different, and their profiles are different. That means treatment approaches will differ among patients.
“If we can avoid removing permanent teeth during treatment to achieve an ideal smile, we will do so,” she says. “But if removing teeth will create a more pleasing profile and help us achieve a proper bite for our patient that is what we’ll recommend.”

A Great Smile Can Boost Self-Esteem

April 18, 2013 News Comments Off

Prior Lake pediatric orthodontistLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND SAVAGE, MN – May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, and dental and orthodontic offices throughout the country will conduct various activities in honor of the occasion.

Here at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics, we like to think we promote healthy self-esteem every month by providing orthodontic treatment that gives our patients a reason to smile.

In honor of National Teen Self-Esteem Month, we’re sharing some tips parents can follow to help build healthy self-esteem in their children.

  1. Watch your words. You can’t take them back once you’ve said them, so plan before you speak. It’s a great idea to reward your child’s effort and completion of a task, instead of just rewarding the outcome, according to Kids Health.
  2. Set up children for success. “Help develop talent in your kids, orthodontist Dr. Trudy Bonvino says. Expose them to music, sports or art and encourage them along the way. When children learn a skill or discover a talent, it is a great confidence booster.
  3. Give your child responsibilities. Kids need to learn to be responsible for things, and learning this skill empowers them. Assign chores around the house or teach them to cook their favorite meal.
  4. Encourage children to take healthy risks. Whether it’s learning to ride a skateboard or simply trying a new food, exploring new activities creates opportunities for success. This fosters independence and increases confidence.
  5. Listen more. Your kids must learn to express themselves. They can’t do that if you try to finish their sentences. Being a good listener teaches children to be open to others’ ideas, and shows them that their ideas also are important, according to More-Selfesteem.com.

As an orthodontist who treats children from throughout St. Paul, Savage MN, and Prior Lake pediatric orthodontics has shown Dr. Bonvino that there are some self-esteem issues that simply can’t be overcome without medical treatment.

“Being a kid can be rough, and being a better listener or encouraging your children to learn to play a musical instrument can’t always overcome the negative comments kids get from classmates if they have overjet or severely crowded teeth,” Dr. Bonvino says.

For years, Dr. Bonvino has watched children come to her office for evaluations and observed their refusal to show their teeth when they smile because they’re embarrassed about them.

“But after they get braces and their teeth start shifting into alignment, you just start to see them come out of their shell, little by little,” Dr. Bonvino says. “We get to see every day how orthodontic treatment can boost self-esteem. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Self-esteem also is increasing during treatment, thanks to technological advancements that make treatment less noticeable. Options like tooth-colored ceramic braces and Invisalign Teen enable patients to achieve smile improvements while avoiding the “metal mouth” look.

We love doing our part to increase self-esteem in children and build confidence in our future leaders. That gives us something to smile about!

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

 

Minneapolis orthodonticsLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND SAVAGE, MN – It is no secret that aesthetics play an important role in orthodontic treatment for our Lakeville, Prior Lake and Savage, MN pediatric orthodontics and adult orthodontics patients.

While, as an orthodontist, Dr. Trudy Bonvino is concerned with correcting our patients’ alignment and bite issues to ensure proper oral function and normal wear of the teeth, we realize most of our patients simply want to feel confident about their smiles. Our use of a soft tissue laser makes it possible for us to achieve everyone’s goals.

A soft tissue laser is used to safely remove soft tissue, such as excess gum tissue. Gum tissue could require removal for a couple of reasons – medical or cosmetic, says Dr. Bonvino, a Minneapolis orthodontist who treats adults, as well as and kids.

We use a soft tissue laser when we need to expose an adult tooth that is impacted, hasn’t yet erupted, or is unable to erupt because of its proximity to neighboring teeth. There’s no need to feel apprehensive at the thought of a laser being used in your mouth. It’s virtually painless. We begin by applying an anesthetic to numb the area – no shots are required. Then the laser is used to remove a bit of gum tissue to expose the tooth. At that point, we can cement a bracket to the newly exposed tooth, tie it in to the arch wire, and begin guiding it into the desired position more quickly.

“Sometimes we have to use the soft tissue laser to remove excess gum tissue from the lower second molars so we can attach brackets to them,” says Dr. Bonvino. “Removing some of the tissue enables us to achieve a secure fit on the molars.”

Another popular use for a soft tissue laser among orthodontists is for frenectomies. Sometimes patients who have a gap between their front two teeth require removal of a frenulum – a small tissue fold that prevents the teeth from being moved closer together. Once that fold is removed, orthodontic treatment can close the gap.

There also are times when the soft tissue laser comes in handy for purely cosmetic reasons.

“You’ve probably heard the term ‘gummy smile’ before,” says the Minneapolis braces expert who also offers Invisalign and Invisalign Teen treatment. “The laser can help improve the look of a gummy smile.”

A gummy smile is the term used to describe a smile where an excessive amount of gum tissue can be seen above the front teeth. Sometimes gum tissue creates a smile that looks uneven when it covers more of one tooth than of the tooth beside it. The laser can be used to expose more tooth structure and create even gum lines to reveal an aesthetically pleasing smile.

 

A Faster, Less Invasive Treatment Option

Having a laser in the office has been a game-changer for orthodontic treatment. Prior to having this helpful tool, we had to refer patients to an oral surgeon to have teeth exposed. Being able to do this in the office without surgical intervention means patients get started down the path to a pleasing smile much faster. Avoiding a surgical procedure means no cutting, bleeding or suturing. That’s something that gives patients a reason to smile!

 

Lakeville Lacrosse Players Receive Mouth Guards

April 8, 2013 News Comments Off

Minneapolis orthodonticsLAKEVILLE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA –All the orthodontic treatment in the world won’t help you if you get your teeth broken or knocked out while playing sports.

That’s why the team here at the Lakeville, Prior Lake and Minneapolis orthodontics practice of Cosmopolitan Orthodontics is providing free mouth guards to area lacrosse players.

About 300 boys and girls play lacrosse in the Lakeville Lacrosse Association. Dr. Trudy Bonvino, who provides traditional orthodontic treatment and invisible braces with Invisalign and Invisalign Teen treatment, wants those players to stay safe while on the field.

“It’s impossible to know when or if you’ll take a blow to the face when you’re playing a sport like lacrosse, so you have to be prepared at all times,” Dr. Bonvino says. “A mouth guard can protect your teeth from trauma. If you are in orthodontic treatment, it also can prevent damage to your orthodontic appliances.”

The key to mouth guards is proper fit, she says. That is best attained by taking impressions so a custom mouth guard can be fabricated.

When they fit properly, mouth guards help protect bone and tooth roots from harm, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry.

A mouth guard also can protect an athlete from significant injuries such as concussions, fractured jaws, neck injuries and cerebral hemorrhages because they provide protection to avoid situations where a player’s lower jaw gets slammed into his or her upper jaw.

It’s particularly important to wear a mouth guard that fits properly when you have braces. Not only can trauma break appliances, but brackets and wires can cause damage to soft tissue when a player is hit in the face.

Lacrosse players who already have a mouth guard can bring it to our Prior Lake or Lakeville office and have it checked to ensure it still fits properly. It’s wise to have them checked for fit every season because children are still growing and last year’s mouth guard may not fit any longer. Players who are in orthodontic treatment may need a new mouth guard if their treatment has resulted in significant changes in their teeth alignment.

“We enjoy being part of the Lakeville community, and we see providing free mouth guards to players as a helpful way for us to give back to the community,” Dr. Bonvino says.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

LAKEVILLE, SHAKOPEE AND FARMINGTON, MINNESOTA – Not many people know this, but orthodontists are known to work closely with cosmetic dentists to help achieve ideal results for patients.

Orthodontics can make it easier for cosmetic dentists to craft beautiful smiles that look natural, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville, Shakopee and Farmington pediatric orthodontics specialist.

“Amazing improvements can be made with cosmetic dentistry alone, but even greater results sometimes can be achieved when an orthodontist and cosmetic dentist are able to work cooperatively to improve a patient’s smile,” says the adult and kids orthodontist.

For example, we’ve had patients who needed dental implants and crowns, and their cosmetic dentist referred them to us for an evaluation prior to the procedure. Because of that, we were able to recommend treatment that created space so the implant could be placed in an ideal position for optimum results. There have been other occasions in which we were able to correct bite issues prior to a patient having certain cosmetic dentistry procedures performed. By going this route, we were able to help promote the longevity of the patient’s dental restorations by preventing abnormal wear patterns created by various malocclusions.

Patients who want to get porcelain dental veneers are another population segment that frequently benefit from orthodontic treatment prior to their cosmetic procedure. We can perform treatment that helps create space between teeth to make room for the veneers. Veneers are ultra-thin sheets of porcelain that are bonded to the teeth’s surfaces. But even though they are thin, they still can add bulk to the teeth. Cosmetic dentists file down portions of teeth surfaces to create a more natural look and feel for the veneers. Having orthodontic treatment prior to the veneers preparation process can mean less healthy tooth surface must be removed because we were able to provide more room for crowded teeth.

There also are cases in which we can offer an alternative to cosmetic dentistry procedures. For example, if you have crowded teeth and can be patient, products such as Invisalign and Invisalign Teen can fix crowding and alignment issues relatively quickly, and without altering the structure of healthy teeth.

“Sometimes patients are in search of instant results, and they prefer veneers,” Dr. Bonvino says. “But Invisalign treatment can be completed relatively quickly – often in 18 months or less, and help patients achieve a beautifully aligned smile without an invasive procedure.”

Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that are switched out approximately every two weeks. Each aligner gently guides the teeth into their ideal position. The aligners are virtually undetectable when worn, which is particularly appealing to adults, Dr. Bonvino says. Invisalign patients visit the orthodontist’s office about every six weeks to receive their next series of aligners.

“For the right candidate, this is a great solution for crooked, crowded teeth,” she says.

Dr. Bonvino attributes this orthodontist/cosmetic dentist connection to being partly responsible for the growth of orthodontic treatment among adults in recent years. The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that about 25 percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

We are glad to see more adults taking steps to improve their smiles. Life is too short to feel self-conscious about something that is so easily corrected.

Orthodontic Treatment Can Help Prevent Oral Trauma

March 27, 2013 News Comments Off

PRIOR LAKE, BURNSVILLE AND ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – A study conducted in 2012 involving Indian girls between 11 and 17 found that children with significant overjet were about three times more likely to have dental injuries.

April is National Facial Protection Month, and we will take the opportunity throughout the month to raise awareness regarding the importance of properly protecting the face and mouth from injury when playing sports. This is accomplished by wearing protective mouth guards and appropriate helmets when necessary.

“We also plan to promote the ways in which orthodontic treatment can help lessen the severity of and even prevent dental injuries,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Prior Lake and St. Paul orthodontics expert who offers adult and pediatric treatment. “Correcting malocclusions such as overjet can help protect the front teeth in particular from injury.”

Overjet is commonly referred to as overbite, but these terms are not synonymous. Overjet is the term used to describe upper teeth that stick out and create a gap between the back of the upper teeth and front of the lower teeth. Sometimes a person with severe overjet can fit a finger or thumb in this space even when their jaws are closed. Kids often call this “buck teeth.” Overbite, on the other hand, is how far your upper teeth cover your lower teeth when your jaws are closed.

By definition, you can see how having overjet could increase the likelihood of injury if your child was to be accidentally hit in the face with a ball or by another player when playing sports. While mouth guards are advisable when playing contact sports, braces for your children to correct overjet, combined with mouth guard use, can go even farther in protecting your teeth so you can keep them for a lifetime, Dr. Bonvino says.

“Having teeth that stick out three or four millimeters farther than they should exponentially increases the chances of injury,” she says. “Through orthodontic treatment, we can correct overjet. This enables your child’s lips to serve as better protection against trauma because they can more adequately cover the teeth when the teeth are in their appropriate position.”

Of course, it’s important to remember you must rely on more than your child’s lips for protection when playing sports. We routinely provide complimentary mouth guard checks to young athletes from neighboring communities including Prior Lake, Lakeville and Burnsville. Orthodontists are particularly helpful in determining proper mouth guard fit when your child has braces. We also can fit him/her for a custom mouth guard at either of our Prior Lake or Lakeville locations. Remember to let us check your child’s mouth guard periodically to ensure it continues to fit. New mouth guards will be needed as he/she grows and progresses in orthodontic treatment.

National Facial Protection Month is presented each year through a partnership with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists and the Academy for Sports Dentistry. These organizations work together to promote sports injury prevention.

Parents, teachers and other professionals can help spread the word about National Facial Protection Month with a variety of free resources available on the AAOMS website. Information available includes educational posters, handouts, coloring books and fact sheets.

What is a Dental Midline?

March 12, 2013 Article Comments Off

Minneapolis orthodontistLAKEVILLE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – We toss a lot of terms around our office each day. A common one is “dental midline.”

Just what is a dental midline, and what does it have to do with orthodontic treatment, you ask? That’s what we’re addressing in today’s blog post.

The dental midline is the line between your two upper front teeth and your two lower front teeth, and it plays a significant role in orthodontic treatment.

The dental midlines of your upper and lower jaws should align with each other in the center of your upper and lower arches. Those midlines also should align with the center of your nose and the midpoint between your eyes. When this doesn’t happen, the term applied to that condition is a “deviated” midline, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, the orthodontist on staff here at our Prior Lake and Minneapolis orthodontics practice.

This is an asymmetry issue, and if you have it, this type of discrepancy often is more noticeable to you than to those with whom you interact. But that doesn’t make correcting it any less important.

Deviated dental midlines can cause your back bite to fail to fit and match correctly. This could lead to problems with proper jaw and dental function. One of the most famous faces that sported a deviated dental midline for years is actor Tom Cruise. Take a look at the photo and you’ll notice how far off-center his dental midline is. Cruise has since undergone orthodontic treatment to correct the problem.

As a quick side note, we wrote recently about the phenomenon of families going through treatment together, and Cruise is a good example of that. His treatment came about when he got braces for his children. His children’s orthodontist then suggested that Cruise pursue treatment for himself.

Back to the dental midline discussion, a lot of patients wonder what causes a deviated dental midline. One cause could be the premature loss of a canine tooth, or a congenitally missing tooth. Teeth are prone to shifting when there is room for them to move.

“A lot of parents think baby teeth aren’t that important, but deviated dental midlines prove the point they are actually quite important,” says Dr. Bonvino, who also is an Lakeville Invisalign treatment expert. “The baby teeth help hold space for adult teeth. When baby teeth fall out naturally, it’s because the adult teeth are ready to erupt.”

Baby teeth that fall out prematurely cannot maintain the space needed for the adult replacements. Congenitally missing adult teeth also leave room for neighboring teeth to shift into the vacant space.

Environmental factors that can contribute to changes in the dental midline include unhealthy, prolonged sucking habits, and asymmetrical chewing habits that are caused by trauma, extractions or dental disease.

One way of correcting a deviated dental midline is with the use of an appliance called a modified Hyrax expander. This device expands the roof of the mouth and holds it in its new position while the teeth and bone adapt to that new position.

Regardless of the cause, Dr. Bonvino, a Minneapolis orthodontist, can diagnose and correct your deviated dental midline to give you a smile you’ll want the world to see.

More Families Are Pursuing Orthodontic Treatment

February 27, 2013 Article Comments Off

orthodontist in Minneapolis LAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Researchers have studied the changing age demographic of orthodontic patients for years.

Anecdotally, we’ve seen in our reception area what a number of studies shows: more families are seeking orthodontic treatment than ever.

From 1982 to 2008, the number of children and adults who underwent orthodontic treatment in the United States increased by 99 percent, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. The number of adults seeking treatment increased by 24 percent between 1989 and 2008.

What a difference a couple of years make. The AAO conducted another study in 2011, which showed the number of people who get braces had increased by 103 percent since the 1980s, and adult patient numbers had risen by 25 percent.

More people age 30 and older are getting braces today than ever before, according to information posted on archwired.com.

Dr. Trudy Bonvino also sees another trend: multiple members of a family are getting braces.

“We’re not just talking about several siblings in one family,” says Dr. Bonvino, who specializes in adult and children’s orthodontics. “We see parents and children getting braces at the same time, or one after the other.”

It is the opinion  of the orthodontist in Minneapolis and Prior Lake that a number of factors are responsible for the shift.

Aesthetics & Technology

The types of braces offered today are vastly different than braces in use 40 years ago. While traditional metal brackets still are available, they come in smaller sizes. There are ceramic braces and even tooth-colored archwires that blend in and are barely noticeable. Lingual braces are placed on the backs of teeth, which means others won’t see your orthodontic appliances.

And then there’s Invisalign.

“That is the treatment adults ask for by name,” says Dr. Bonvino, a Lakeville and Shakopee Invisalign provider. “People like the notion of being able to remove the aligners to eat, and of wearing something that isn’t noticeable.”

Technology also has attracted more adults to treatment, because we are able to move teeth faster and more precisely with newer appliances.

Education

More people understand the benefits of oral health and its connection to overall health. There is a great deal of research that shows poor oral health can lead to systemic problems, including heart issues.

“It is easier to keep aligned teeth clean than crowded, crooked teeth,” Dr. Bonvino says.

Teeth that are kept free of plaque and tartar buildup create a healthier mouth.

People also understand more about the self-esteem benefits of orthodontic treatment these days. Children can be incredibly self-conscious of their overjet, overbite or underbite.

“We see children come out of their shells after orthodontic treatment,” Dr. Bonvino says. “The same is true for adults. Some don’t smile with their lips open, but orthodontic treatment changes that.”

Competitive job market

When it comes to reasons adults decide to seek treatment, we find that many of them opt for it because they’re desirous of making certain nonsurgical improvements that will improve their appearance and perhaps give them an edge in the job market.

Tough economic times and high unemployment rates seem to have been a catalyst in urging people to look at the bigger picture in terms of what might give them the competitive edge when seeking employment.

Insurance coverage

Insurance coverage has evolved over the past couple of decades, and now many families have some orthodontic coverage included in their dental insurance plans.

“Every little bit helps, so many families with dental insurance pursue treatment, even if their insurance doesn’t cover 100 percent of the cost,” Dr. Bonvino says.

Regardless of the reason, Dr. Bonvino is happy to evaluate patients who are interested in seeing how orthodontic treatment can improve their smiles. Consultations at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics are complimentary and include a full set of digital X-rays, photographs and a treatment plan.

Call us today for an evaluation if you want to feel more secure and more confident, or if you’ve never received a compliment on your teeth but would like to. It’s time you had something to smile about.

Healthy Teeth are No Match for an Eating Disorder

February 14, 2013 News Comments Off

Burnsville orthodonticsPRIOR LAKE, BURNSVILLE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA—An eating disorder can wreak havoc on various parts of the body, and the teeth are not immune to its damaging effects.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will be observed Feb. 24 through March 2 and in honor of it, we are shedding light on how eating disorders can damage your teeth.

“We’re in the business of creating beautiful smiles through traditional orthodontic and Invisalign treatment,” says Prior Lake and Burnsville orthodontics and invisible braces expert Dr. Trudy Bonvino. “It’s heartbreaking when an orthodontist sees a patient with an untreated eating disorder, because as a professional, you know the improvements being made through orthodontic treatment can be negated by the disease.”

When we see patients with an eating disorder, we often must counsel them on avoiding brushing their teeth immediately after vomiting, because it can actually promote tooth decay. We also offer advice on increasing their intra-oral pH by chewing gum or rinsing their mouth with water or milk.

A 1991 study published in the International Dental Journal involving 24 females with eating disorders found that orthodontic abnormalities were more common among those females than in the control group. The presence of an open bite was more prevalent in the females who reported self-induced vomiting.

When orthodontic patients have anorexia, their teeth tend to move much more slowly, says St. Paul pediatric orthodontist Dr. Bonvino.

Lots of people understand how bulimics can damage their teeth. Nearly 90 percent of patients diagnosed with bulimia show signs of tooth erosion- typically associated with regurgitation, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. However, studies exist that identify similar prevalence rates in patients who practice highly restrictive dietary habits.

Following are several dental-related signs and symptoms of eating disorders:

  • Tissue loss and erosive lesions on tooth surfaces caused by acid. These lesions can begin to appear within six months of the start of an eating disorder.
  • Changes in tooth color, shape and length.
  • Teeth become more sensitive to temperature changes and in extreme cases, the pulp can become exposed. This can lead to infection, discoloration and even pulp death.
  • Enlarged salivary glands, dry mouth and red, dry, cracked lips.
  • Tooth decay, which is aggravated by extensive tooth brushing or rinsing following vomiting.
  • Unprovoked, spontaneous pain within a particular tooth.

An orthodontist can detect an eating disorder in a patient. Typically, we will refer the patient to their physician. We take eating disorders very seriously because in addition to damaging your teeth, they can rob other areas of your health and even kill you.

If you or someone you love has an eating disorder, please get help. For more information, visit NEDA’s website: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.