Oral Health and Weight Loss

oral health and weight lossThere is a correlation between weight and oral health. Some weight-loss diets can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth. Having clean teeth can make proper weight management easier. When you consider that your mouth is a window to your entire health, it is easy to see how your oral health is a central connection.

Your Fuquay-Varina dentist, Hamby Family Dental Center knows a lot about these connections. In this article, we will explore how good oral hygiene can reduce inflammation and body weight as well as how different diets can affect your oral and overall health. As always, we recommend continuing to have regular dental teeth cleaning and exams in order to stay apprised of your oral health, especially while dieting. And read this article for dental tips on having a beautiful smile.

Inflammation and Body Weight

Your mouth contains thousands of bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums. By regularly brushing and flossing, you can reduce this number. With poor oral hygiene, the bacteria grow exponentially and spread in your mouth, thereby causing inflammation. Gum inflammation affects your body’s capacity to absorb nutrients and ultimately causes your body to focus more on fighting the infection. This can result in weight gain.

Gum Disease Can Affect Your Energy Level

Gum disease has been linked to diabetes and can actually worsen symptoms. When your body is responding to gum disease, it releases a compound that changes how your body stores fat and uses energy. This compound affects the body’s ability to utilize sugars, causing a conversion to fat instead of energy. This causes weight gain.

Diets That Can Affect Your Teeth

Not only can your oral health affect your body and weight, but your diet can affect your teeth. Weight-loss diets can have a major impact on your oral health.

Fruit Detox

A diet that consists primarily of fruits for an extended period of time can have consequences for your mouth and body. Fruits have a high level of acid and sugar, which can damage your enamel resulting in leaving your teeth and gums at risk for decay and infection.

Low-Fat Diet

A low-fat diet can affect your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Vitamin D is important for oral health because it aids in the body absorbing calcium. When your body can’t absorb calcium, your teeth and bones begin to break down. Additionally, fat helps your brain produce dopamine, which improves your mood. When your diet lacks omega-3 fatty acids, your stress and anxiety increases. As a result, stress can lead to tooth grinding (bruxism) and can worsen pain from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Another thing to watch for in a low-fat diet is the added sugar to reduced-fat products. Additional sugar can translate into a higher chance of cavities.

Low-Calorie Diet

As you cut calories, you can also reduce necessary minerals and vitamins. Malnutrition is not good for your body, but can also weaken your jawbone and cause your teeth to move or fall out. Malnutrition can soften the enamel on your teeth, therefore increasing your chance of cavities, as well as making you vulnerable to gum disease.

Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets

The primary objective of these diets is to get your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the process by which your body begins burning fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel and releases chemicals called ketones. As you release ketones, you may notice that your breath can begin to smell like acetone (nail polish remover) or rotten fruit. You can alleviate this smell by drinking more water, brushing your teeth and tongue regularly, and by chewing on natural fresheners like parsley and mint. Additionally, you may want to include some carbs into your diet so you don’t get ketoacidosis, an illness where your blood levels get dangerously acidic. Having an overload of ketones can also make your body begin to burn muscle instead of fat, causing intense fatigue.

Contact Us Today to Schedule your Dental Exam and Cleaning

If you have questions about how your diet may be affecting your oral health, or how your oral health may be affecting your weight management, call us today. To schedule an appointment, call us at  919-552-2431 or fill out our appointment request form.

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