• 02 AUG 19

    Eating disorders: not just for teens

    It’s no secret that eating disorders are a big problem for a large portion of society. Indeed, it is thought that as many as 1.25 million people in the UK are suffering from these conditions.[i] What’s particularly worrying is that this number may be far greater, as there are many people who never disclose or show signs of these behaviours.

    Eating disorders are also difficult to identify. Although some such as anorexia and bulimia often have very noticeable behaviours attached, no two cases are the same and these unhealthy actions can manifest in other ways. For example, someone may binge eat or eat normally and exercise obsessively to lose weight.

     

    A significant threat

     Eating disorders are also far more dangerous than many would imagine. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. This is because when people restrict their nutritional intake, they quickly become prone to potentially life-threatening conditions. Furthermore, suicide rates among those that suffer from eating disorders are typically higher, showing that these conditions heavily impact the quality and length of life of those who suffer from them.[ii]

    The problem with eating disorders is that it’s very easy to assume that these only really affect adolescents. It’s true that this demographic is the most impacted by these conditions, but that doesn’t mean that older or even younger patients aren’t affected too.

    Indeed, I was recently reading an article that presented some harrowing facts relating to eating disorders and older individuals. In this piece it revealed that among middle aged women, eating disorders are rife. It suggested that as many as 13% of women aged over 50 have eating disorder symptoms, and that 3.5% of women aged 40 and over have a definite eating disorder and are not receiving treatment.

    The article also pointed out that although rates of anorexia do tend to plateau around age 26, bulimia rates don’t follow suit until age 47. Furthermore, binge eating disorder levels remain high until around age 70.[iii]

     

    A watchful eye

    What this means for us as dental professionals, is that we need to remain vigilant and look for signs of eating disorders when treating patients of all ages. Some of these signs should be easy to identify. For example, bulimia is likely to damage the enamel on teeth due to acid exposure from repeated vomiting. This can change the shape, size and colour of teeth. Other signs may be trickier to spot, but in the case of a disorder such as anorexia a patient may exhibit higher rates of decay or bleeding gums as they are not consuming the calcium or vitamins they need.[iv]

    Of course, recognition is only one part of the story. As professionals we need to be able to provide an accessible and caring environment for these individuals to open up. If you think a patient may be suffering from an eating disorder you need to make them aware of the risks that these conditions bring to both their oral and general health. Could you invest in some leaflets for your practice that individuals can take home? Is there a way you can suggest that they see their GP to get help? It’s important to address the issue with sensitivity and without sounding judgemental or accusatory.

    Eating disorders are highly personal psychological conditions that can affect people of all ages. By remaining vigilant and offering support, we can ensure that these behaviours have a lower impact on the oral health of sufferers.

     

    For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

    Or visit www.endocare.co.uk

    [i] Beat Eating Disorders. Statistics for Journalists. Link: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/media-centre/eating-disorder-statistics [Last accessed July 19].

     

    [ii] Beat Eating Disorders. Statistics for Journalists. Link: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/media-centre/eating-disorder-statistics [Last accessed July 19].

     

    [iii] The Hamilton Spectator. The Hidden Crisis: Eating Disorders Among Middle-Aged Women. Link: https://www.thespec.com/living-story/9441966-the-hidden-crisis-eating-disorders-among-middle-aged-women/ [Last accessed July 19].

     

    [iv] NEDA. Dental Complications of Eating Disorders. Link: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders [Last accessed July 19].

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Patient Testimonials

Thank you so much for looking after our nanny Noelia! Thank you also for offering her such a generous discount for your excellent treatment. She asked me to pass on her thanks also. With best wishes.

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Quentin McCoach
This is just to thank you for the root-canal treatment which you carried out on my tooth last Tuesday afternoon. All has now settled down and I can chew on the tooth as normal. I think that we both had a tough ninety minutes last Tuesday but for me it ...

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David Thomson
Just to say thanks for the coffees & friendly, supportive chats. You certainly helped to take the edge off a stressful time for us.

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Rod & Sue Witheridge
Thank you very much for the wonderful work you did for me. I can smile again!

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Zita Drew
Thank you for treating my dental pain, it was a great relief! Thank you also for the care I received while visiting your practice.

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Fraser Gray
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and Mr. Sultan for the excellent patient care I received last week. My reluctance to proceed with the surgical treatment was apparent, but with your advice and reassurance, I am sure that I made the right decision. The procedure, though ...

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Anne
Just a quick but BIG thank you all for making what was a frightening and miserable procedure into an experience I could hanle. If there had been more people like you all, I would have a much healthier mouth. It was a pleasure meeting you and your kindness is much ...

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Georgia F
Thankyou so much for once again saving a difficult tooth!!  Another thankyou is due to you for your gift to my daughter of the recipe book written by your aunt. Noelle returned to Dubai with the book firmly tucked under her arm. She returns in July for the summer and ...

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Sheila Ferris

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Harley Street Root Canal Clinic
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Richmond
Surrey TW9 1JY

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    • 02 AUG 19

    Eating disorders: not just for teens

    It’s no secret that eating disorders are a big problem for a large portion of society. Indeed, it is thought that as many as 1.25 million people in the UK are suffering from these conditions.[i] What’s particularly worrying is that this number may be far greater, as there are many people who never disclose or show signs of these behaviours.

    Eating disorders are also difficult to identify. Although some such as anorexia and bulimia often have very noticeable behaviours attached, no two cases are the same and these unhealthy actions can manifest in other ways. For example, someone may binge eat or eat normally and exercise obsessively to lose weight.

     

    A significant threat

     Eating disorders are also far more dangerous than many would imagine. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. This is because when people restrict their nutritional intake, they quickly become prone to potentially life-threatening conditions. Furthermore, suicide rates among those that suffer from eating disorders are typically higher, showing that these conditions heavily impact the quality and length of life of those who suffer from them.[ii]

    The problem with eating disorders is that it’s very easy to assume that these only really affect adolescents. It’s true that this demographic is the most impacted by these conditions, but that doesn’t mean that older or even younger patients aren’t affected too.

    Indeed, I was recently reading an article that presented some harrowing facts relating to eating disorders and older individuals. In this piece it revealed that among middle aged women, eating disorders are rife. It suggested that as many as 13% of women aged over 50 have eating disorder symptoms, and that 3.5% of women aged 40 and over have a definite eating disorder and are not receiving treatment.

    The article also pointed out that although rates of anorexia do tend to plateau around age 26, bulimia rates don’t follow suit until age 47. Furthermore, binge eating disorder levels remain high until around age 70.[iii]

     

    A watchful eye

    What this means for us as dental professionals, is that we need to remain vigilant and look for signs of eating disorders when treating patients of all ages. Some of these signs should be easy to identify. For example, bulimia is likely to damage the enamel on teeth due to acid exposure from repeated vomiting. This can change the shape, size and colour of teeth. Other signs may be trickier to spot, but in the case of a disorder such as anorexia a patient may exhibit higher rates of decay or bleeding gums as they are not consuming the calcium or vitamins they need.[iv]

    Of course, recognition is only one part of the story. As professionals we need to be able to provide an accessible and caring environment for these individuals to open up. If you think a patient may be suffering from an eating disorder you need to make them aware of the risks that these conditions bring to both their oral and general health. Could you invest in some leaflets for your practice that individuals can take home? Is there a way you can suggest that they see their GP to get help? It’s important to address the issue with sensitivity and without sounding judgemental or accusatory.

    Eating disorders are highly personal psychological conditions that can affect people of all ages. By remaining vigilant and offering support, we can ensure that these behaviours have a lower impact on the oral health of sufferers.

     

    For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

    Or visit www.endocare.co.uk

    [i] Beat Eating Disorders. Statistics for Journalists. Link: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/media-centre/eating-disorder-statistics [Last accessed July 19].

     

    [ii] Beat Eating Disorders. Statistics for Journalists. Link: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/media-centre/eating-disorder-statistics [Last accessed July 19].

     

    [iii] The Hamilton Spectator. The Hidden Crisis: Eating Disorders Among Middle-Aged Women. Link: https://www.thespec.com/living-story/9441966-the-hidden-crisis-eating-disorders-among-middle-aged-women/ [Last accessed July 19].

     

    [iv] NEDA. Dental Complications of Eating Disorders. Link: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eating-disorders [Last accessed July 19].