Bulimia nervosa – its prevalence, symptoms and treatment with special attention to oral health

1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland. Head of Department: Agnieszka Słopień, MD, PhD
2 Department of Biomaterials and Experimental Dentistry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland. Head of Department: Professor Beata Czarnecka, MD, PhD
Correspondence: Elżbieta Paszyńska, Department of Biomaterials and Experimental Dentistry, University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Bukowska 70, 60-812 Poznań, tel.: +48 61 854 71 01, fax: +48 61 854 71 02, e-mail: paszynska@ump.edu.pl

Pediatr Med Rodz 2016, 12 (3), p. 276–284
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2016.0028
ABSTRACT

Bulimia nervosa is a serious and complex health problem encountered by many professionals, including general practitioners and dentists. The aim of the study was to describe the problem of bulimia (its prevalence, symptoms, special situations, treatment), with particular emphasis on the aspect of the oral health. The paper presents the causes and factors contributing to the disease, diagnostic criteria, the onset and the possible course of the disease, dental and oral mucosa pathologies due to bulimia as well as other comorbidities (including diabetes). The paper is of descriptive nature. The research method was based on the analysis of the available literature on bulimia nervosa supplemented by our own experience. It was concluded based on the analysed sources that appropriate diagnosis and treatment of bulimia nervosa is possible only with the cooperation of many specialists: psychiatrists or paediatric psychiatrists, dentists and general practitioners as well as other doctors if necessary. Psychotherapy is a necessary and integral aspect of treatment. Early treatment onset is essential for good treatment outcomes. Due to the low sense of illness, some patients would never meet a psychiatrist if not for the intervention of a family doctor or a dentist.

Keywords: bulimia nervosa, enamel erosion, dentist, diabetes, psychotherapy