Weight & Oral Health (April A To Z Blogging Challenge 2019)

Did you know that how much you weigh could have an impact on your teeth and gums, and that following the wrong diet might adversely affect your oral health? 

You might want to add regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight to your oral health care routine of regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist. According to a study by Japanese researchers, people with a healthy body weight and high levels of physical fitness had a lower incidence of severe periodontitis (gum disease).

Excessive weight is a considerable public health problem. The condition is the result of cultural, environmental, socioeconomic, behavioral, genetic, and metabolic factors. Overweight children have an increased chance of becoming overweight or obese adults and developing hypertension, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, orthopedic problems, sleep apnoea, and asthma which greatly affect their quality of life 

In a study involving obese patients, researchers found that those who opted for weight loss surgery and professional dental treatments had less gum inflammation than patients who only received dental treatments. In other words, weight loss led to improved oral health. Researchers concluded that individuals who see their dentist regularly and make an effort to lose excess weight are more likely to note a marked improvement in their oral conditions, particularly when it comes to their gums.

Various diets that can be used to lose weight could have a surprising effect on the health of your teeth and gums. 
  • If you’re embarking on a low-calorie diet, here’s the thing you need to watch out for: cutting out too much food could end up depleting your body of vital vitamins and minerals. And once you become malnourished, you might become more susceptible to soft enamel and cavities. Also, your gums might become more vulnerable to disease, and your jawbone might become so weak that your teeth start to move or maybe even fall out. Consider ditching unhealthy high-calorie foods, such as processed foods, and replacing them with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and other low-calorie options that are filling and nutritious.
  • Diet pills that you could buy over-the-counter or with a prescription might be appealing because they claim to help you lose weight with greater speed and ease. But did you know that some diet pills might lead to dry mouth? With a lack of saliva in your mouth, your teeth might become more prone to decay, and gum disease might also develop.
  • In order for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, you need to consume foods that contain enough fat. So if you go on a low-fat diet and severely restrict your fat intake, you might risk becoming deficient in these important nutrients. And if your body doesn’t have enough vitamin D, in particular, it might become increasingly difficult to absorb the calcium necessary to support your teeth. Plus, low-fat foods often contain added sugars to improve taste, and too much sugar could increase your risk of developing cavities. And when you go on a low-fat diet, your mood might be adversely affected too so you might become more susceptible to bruxism as a result of anxiety and stress. 
  • A detox diet that severely restricts what you eat for an extended period of time might seem like a good way to cleanse your body, but those diets aren’t without controversy. Take a fruit detox or juice detox as a couple of examples. Even though fruits are good for you, when you’re bathing your mouth in their juice or eating them beyond the point of moderation, you could end up exposing your teeth to way too much acid and sugar that might damage enamel, cause tooth decay and lead to gum problems.
Taking Care of Your Weight = Taking Care of Your Teeth
By taking actions to get to a healthy weight, you might be able to improve the status of your mouth. Just be sure to shed the pounds in a smart and gentle way so that you don’t risk aggravating your teeth and gums. And keep in mind that seeing your dentist throughout your weight loss journey could also help keep your teeth and gums sparkling clean and free of inflammation until you reach the ideal number of the scale.
Sources: Deltadentalins, Colcate, ADA, 1800dentist.com


My theme for the A to Z challenge 2019 is "The Body - Mouth Connection"


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