Oral mucosal lesions in Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and EDNOS

J Psychiatr Res. 2018 Jan;96:178-182. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.09.022. Epub 2017 Sep 22.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to describe oral lesions in patients with eating disorders (ED), including Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS).

Material and methods: A prospective case-control study was carried out from April 2003 to May 2004. Inclusion criteria for the study group were individuals with a diagnosis of ED; age and sex-matched individuals without ED were included as controls. Clinical data regarding ED, medical complications and oral examination were performed by previously calibrated professionals.

Results: Study group (n = 65) presented 46 cases of BN (71%), 13 of EDNOS (20%) and 6 of AN (9%); also, 94% (n = 61) showed oral lesions. The most common were: labial erythema, exfoliative cheilitis, orange-yellow palate, hemorrhagic lesions, lip-cheek biting and non-specific oral atrophies. Only two patients of the study group had dental erosions, and no case of major salivary gland swelling was found.

Conclusions: ED display a wide array of oral mucosal lesions that can be regarded as their early manifestations. The dentist could be the first professional to detect symptoms of eating disorders, potentially improving early detection and treatment of ED.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Bulimia nervosa; Eating disorders; Eating disorders not otherwise specified; Oral manifestations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / pathology*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Bulimia Nervosa / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Oral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mouth Mucosa / injuries
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult