Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Can Trendy Diets Negatively Impact Oral Health?

            It seems like every year there is a new diet trend that Hollywood stars swear by. We see the results on TV or in a magazine and we think that we have to try it. But it is important to consider how these diets can affect your overall health and the health of your teeth and gums. So before you start trying the latest diet trend, there are a few facts to consider.
            Some of the common diets involve ‘liquid cleanses’ that are designed to help you lose weight and rid the body of unwanted toxins. But it is important to consider what you are ingesting with these cleanses. If they involve lots of citrus fruits or drinks, the teeth can be negatively affected. The constant barrage of acid can wear the enamel and expose the underlying dentin. Dentin is not as durable or as strong as enamel and the teeth can continue to wear even faster than before. Not only does this weaken the tooth but it can cause sensitivity and possibly result in the need for a root canal. Toothpastes like Pronamel can help protect your teeth from the acid, but it will not work with 100% efficacy. I recommend discussing these diets and the possible side effects with your dentist before beginning a ‘juice cleanse.’ Each individual is different and you should know the pros and cons before you begin.
            But can other diets actually help your teeth and gums? There are some studies that suggest there is a connection to healthier teeth and gums to people with vegan diets. However, at the time the article was published the actual cause and effect relationship was not known. It is possible it has to do with the foods you eat or it is a result of someone just being more health conscious in general.
            While I am very supportive of finding ways to stay healthy and stay at a healthy weight, it is important to look at all the pros and cons of different diets or workout plans. You should always talk with your doctor and/or dentist before trying anything that you are unsure about.

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Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS 

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