Oral manifestations of eating disorders in adolescent patients. A review

Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2021 Jun;22(2):155-158. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2021.22.02.13.

ABSTRACT

AIM: Eating disorders (ED) are a group of psychopathological disorders that affect the patient's relationship with food and his own body and that are manifested mainly in adolescence and in young-adult age. ED include anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) and other eating disorders as classified in the DMS-V. ED can result in several oral and dental manifestations that often occur in the early stages of ED and may allow early detection. The aim of the study is to describe the different oral and dental manifestations in patients with ED in order to offer a classification for their identification during an extra/intra-oral examination.

METHODS: A search on PubMed, Medline and Cochrane Library data bases has been performed.

RESULTS: Oral manifestations in ED patients include a variety of signs and symptoms, which involve the oral mucosa and perioral tissues (exfoliative cheilitis, labial erythema, atrophic glossitis, glossodynia, yellow-orange colouration of the soft palate, cheek/lip biting, candidiasis), the teeth (dental erosion, tooth hypersensitivity, dental caries), periodontal diseases, and salivary manifestations (sialoadenosis, alterations in salivary flow). The oral signs are caused by a number of factors, including nutritional deficiencies and consequent metabolic changes, poor personal hygiene, altered eating habits and pharmacological therapies. There is a very specific link between oral manifestations and ED in the presence of self-induced vomiting.

CONCLUSION: The paediatric dentist may be the first professional to detect the clinical signs thus improving the interception, early diagnosis, characterisation and prognosis of ED. In addition, the oral manifestations of ED can cause alterations of the oral function, discomfort, oral pain, and worsen aesthetics of the face and the quality of life.

PMID:34238008 | DOI:10.23804/ejpd.2021.22.02.13