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Cyclic vomiting syndrome: Recurring and unexplained episodes destroy teeth

Health risks are everywhere and as many as people know about, there are still many of which people are unaware. Parents face even more concerns when it comes to protecting children. Some diseases and problems are more prevalent in children--like cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS).
CVS mainly affects children, and is something of which parents should be aware. According to a recent report in the November/December 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal, CVS is characterized by a number of symptoms, the most evident being recurrent episodes of nausea and vomiting that are not caused by any specific disease and occur between periods of otherwise normal health.

The study's author, Eric T. Stoopler, DMD, says that the disorder generally lasts between two and six years and fortunately commonly resolves during adolescence. With regard to oral health, CVS affects the mouth and teeth in similar ways to diseases associated with chronic vomiting, such as bulimia, gastritis, or peritonitis, and can cause tooth sensitivity and erosion, caries, periodontal disease, xerostomia, salivary gland enlargement, and trauma to the oral tissue.

So what can parents do? Dr. Stoopler advises parents to watch for anything unusual and to make sure both the child's pediatrician and dentist are informed. "If an otherwise healthy child develops chronic episodes of severe nausea and vomiting in conjunction with systemic, gastrointestinal, urologic and/or neurologic symptoms, parents should consult with a pediatrician. If a child's dentist obtains a medical history that is suggestive of CVS, the patient should be referred to a pediatrician for further evaluation."

CVS: What to look for

  • Nausea and/or vomiting not caused by any specific disease

  • Lethargy

  • Headaches

  • Phonophobia (sensitivity to sound) and photophobia (sensitivity to light)

  • Vertigo (a dizzy or spinning sensation)

  • Ulcers or infections in the mouth

    Stefanie Schroeder | EurekAlert!
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