Weight Loss and Dental Health | The Connections

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
April 4, 2018

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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? That’s right, there’s a connection between your weight and your dental health. Who knew?!

Healthy Weight Management Might Boost Your Oral Health!

This is really interesting: losing those extra pounds might not only improve your waistline; it might also positively impact your oral health. 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 the 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. Just another reason to get down to your healthiest weight!

Going on a Diet? Keep an Eye on Your Teeth

Various diets that can be used to lose weight could have a surprising effect on the health of your teeth and gums. Here are a few examples:

  • If you’re embarking on a low-calorie diet, you certainly aren’t alone, as it’s one of the go-to ways to melt some extra pounds away. But 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. On top of that, 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. Oh no!

Tip: To help keep your body properly nourished while you’re in the process of cutting excess calories, fill your plate with natural foods that are packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. 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.

Tip: If you’re thinking about using a diet pill to help you lose weight, talk to your doctor about the potential side effects. If they include dry mouth, there are some steps that you could take to relieve it, or you might opt to try a different diet pill that’s less likely to cause dry mouth in the first place.

  • 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 and TMJ as a result of anxiety and stress. Wow, that’s a lot of scary stuff that could happen!

Tip: To help ensure that you’re getting enough fat in your diet without undoing your weight loss progress, try to incorporate foods that are high in beneficial fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. These could help support your overall health and make it easier for your body to absorb those all-important fat-soluble vitamins. Foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and, yes, dark chocolate, are a few examples of yummy options that are high in the good fats that your body really needs.

  • 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.

Tip: Rather than limiting yourself to eating just one or two food groups in an effort to detox, try to eliminate foods that are unnatural and unhealthy, such as those that contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Read nutrition labels when shopping for groceries, and follow recipes that incorporate whole food ingredients that are naturally high in antioxidants that could help your body cleanse itself without having to go to extremes.

Taking Care of Your Weight = Taking Care of Your Teeth

So there you have it: weight loss and dental health are surprisingly connected. 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.


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