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Minerva Stomatologica 2007 May;56(5):281-92


language: English

Eating disorders: a threat for women’s health. Oral manifestations in a comprehensive overview

Lo Muzio L. 1, Lo Russo L. 2, Massaccesi C. 3, Rappelli G. 3, Panzarella V. 2, Di Fede O. 2, Kerr A. R. 4, Campisi G. 2

1 Department of Surgical Sciences Faculty of Medicine, School of Dentistry University of Foggia, Italy 2 Department of Oral Sciences Faculty of Medicine, School of Dentistry Oral Medicine Section University of Palermo, Italy 3 Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy 4 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Radiology and Medicine, New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY, USA


The incidence of eating disorders has progressively increased over the last several years, mainly affecting both the health and quality of life of young women. Such disorders are primarily an outlet for manifest psychic suffering and secondarily, they jeopardize the integrity and function of multiple organ systems resulting in significant morbidity and sometimes, life-threatening outcomes. The complex emerging interplay of etiopathogenetic factors poses many challenges in their prevention and management, which is further complicated by a reluctance by patients with eating disorders to seek medical evaluation and treatment. Recognition of the oral manifestations is important because these signs and symptoms can provide insights about disease progression and parallel general health and psychic status. Oral health care providers may be one of the few providers contacted by this patient population seeking recall prophylaxis or urgent dental care. Thus, improving understanding and knowledge of both general medical aspects of eating disorders and their oral manifestations could be of great impact in elevating the attention of health providers towards this group of very debilitating disorders and, consequently, improving their overall prognosis. In this paper we will review and discuss all these aspects.

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