Eating disorder risk behavior and dental implications among adolescents

Int J Eat Disord. 2013 Nov;46(7):677-83. doi: 10.1002/eat.22132. Epub 2013 Apr 29.


Objective: To compare the occurrence of tooth erosion (TE) and dental caries (DC) in adolescents with and without risk behavior for eating disorders (EDs).

Method: A controlled cross-sectional study involving 1,203 randomly selected female students aged 15-18 years was conducted in Brazil. Risk behavior for EDs was evaluated through the Bulimic Investigatory Test of Edinburgh and dental examinations were performed.

Results: The prevalence of risk behavior for EDs was 6%. Twenty adolescents (1.7%) were identified with severe risk behavior for EDs and matched to 80 adolescents without such risk. Among the severe risk group, 45% of adolescents were affected by TE and 80% by DC compared with 8.8 and 51.3%, respectively, in the matched group. Adolescents with severe risk had higher chances for TE (OR = 10.04; 95% CI = 2.5-39.4).

Discussion: In this study, a severe risk behavior for EDs was significantly associated with TE, but not with DC.

Keywords: adolescents; bulimia nervosa; dental caries; eating disorders; risk assessment; tooth erosion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth Erosion / etiology*