Vomiting can be one of the most gross and uncomfortable activities. While one always relates this activity to the larger body like the stomach, it is important to find out what it does to your teeth.
Examining the composition and consistency of vomit can result in showing the highly acidic nature of it, which severely affects teeth.
How it all goes down
Since the mouth is the main exit point of vomit, everything that vomit consists of washes the teeth before exiting your body. Vomit contains gastric acids and human teeth are not designed to withstand these gastric acids. The acids get attached to the teeth and start destroying the hard enamel layer that protects the teeth from decay and sensitivity.
What are the effects of vomiting on the teeth?
- Vomiting causes hypersensitivity to hot or cold foods. One starts to develop sensitivity in one or more teeth which causes a great deal of discomfort. Read more about teeth sensitivity here!
- Erosion of the enamel layer is the biggest consequence of vomiting. The enamel layer is very important for overall oral health and hygiene.
- Another consequence of vomiting includes the discolouration of teeth. People diagnosed with diseases such as bulimia where one vomits very frequently, experience this discolouration. This is because once the enamel layer is removed, the dentin layer becomes exposed. The dentin layer is what contributes to the colour of teeth.
- Frequent vomiting also causes the teeth to become very brittle and weak. This increases the risk of teeth chipping off easily or breaking easily.
- Expansion of the salivary glands is also one of the major consequences of vomiting, which causes dryness of mouth and soreness as well as redness of gums.
In order to preserve your teeth after vomiting or heal your teeth if you have a condition of frequent vomiting, it is important to note a few things:
Do not brush right after you vomit: Contrary to common principle, do not brush your teeth right after you vomit because this further spreads the acids around which destroys more teeth and causes more complications. It is advised to rinse your mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinsing your mouth with baking soda or mouthwash is also effective in washing off acids. One should ideally wait for an hour before brushing after vomiting.
Here is an article on mouthwash to deepen your knowledge!
Do not eat acidic foods after you vomit: Do not include acidic foods in the next meal after vomiting because this further adds acids to the mouth which is very harmful to the teeth and gums.
Drink lots of water: While this is not only beneficial in replacing fluids in your body and rehydrating the body, but it also adds fluoride to the teeth and helps in washing down certain acids in the mouth.
Chew on antacid: It is advised to chew on antacids for about 30 seconds and then spit it out because it neutralises the acidic components in your mouth.
Teeth can get highly damaged especially if you frequently vomit. The teeth require some effort and care to minimise the risk of oral diseases after vomiting.
If you have an eating disorder or other complications that lead to frequent vomiting, it is advisable to visit a doctor to take the necessary steps to protect your teeth and reduce the acidic levels in your mouth.