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Eating disorders reviewed at ADA 2015

September 29, 2015

By David Burger

Dentists can find themselves on the front lines of noticing their patients’ eating disorders, putting them in a difficult position.

At ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting, a continuing education course seeks to help dental professionals understand the conditions, how to identify them and learn how they can have not only dramatic consequences for oral but also systemic health.

Drs. Tara Sexton and Margot L. Waitz from 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 5 will present Eating Disorders: An Update for the Dental Professional (course 5331).

Dr. Waitz, a specialist in adolescent medicine in Wilmington, said that although eating disorders are myriad, this course will focus on the effects of anorexia nervosa — in which people eat very little — and bulimia nervosa — in which people eat a lot and then try to rid themselves of the food, typically through vomiting.

Bulimia, in particular, can be identified in patients because of a noticeable lack of enamel in the teeth at the front of the oral cavity, Dr. Waitz said. Anorexia can be detected by seeing a patient’s lack of body weight, she added.

After the course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Understand the medical complications and consequences of eating disorders.
  • Understand basic psychological theory and treatment principles.
  • Understand oro-dental manifestations and optimal dental management.

ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting will run Nov. 5-10 in Washington, D.C.

Registration for ADA 2015 is open online at

For a list of courses planned, visit

Search for #ADADC on Twitter and Facebook for more on ADA 2015.