When most people try out a new diet, they think more about their waistlines than their dental health. In reality, what you eat can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Keep reading to see how many of the more popular fad diets can affect your smile.
Although low-fat diets may sound healthy, they can actually interfere with your body’s ability to absorb key fat-soluble vitamins, such as D, A, K, and E. Vitamin D is especially important to dental health, because it helps your body absorb and utilize calcium. If your body doesn’t get adequate calcium, your teeth and bones become weak and start to break down.
Low-fat diets can also hamper your brain’s ability to efficiently produce dopamine, an important chemical neurotransmitter that stabilizes your mood. This can make it difficult for your body to manage stress and anxiety, leading to tooth grinding (bruxism), which can ultimately cause or exacerbate temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
Finally, in an effort to enhance the taste of low-fat foods, manufacturers tend to add higher amounts of sugar which can negatively impact oral health by promoting tooth decay.
Cutting calories is an effective way to trim your waistline, as long as you get enough nutrition. If you don’t get enough vitamins and minerals, you could become more vulnerable to periodontal disease. Malnutrition can also cause your enamel and the bone that supports your teeth to weaken. If you do opt for a low-cal diet, be sure to choose a diverse meal plan and supplement with vitamins if necessary.
While it may seem harmless or even healthy, an aggressive fruit detox can actually lead to malnutrition. It can also expose your teeth to sugar and acids which can damage tooth enamel.
The vast majority of diet pills promote dry mouth, which can negatively impact your oral health. By rinsing away food particles and reducing the proliferation of bacteria, saliva is your natural defense against decay. Before you consider taking diet pills, talk to your dentist about the potential risks to your dental health.
Ketogenic and Low-carb Diets
When they adopt low- or no-carb diets, people often notice their breath begins to smell similar to nail polish remover. This is a tell-tale sign of ketosis, where your body begins burning fat instead of carbohydrates, releasing chemicals called ketones. There’s some evidence that low- or no-carb diets could increase the risk of long-term health problems. In the short-term, they almost certainly lead to foul-smelling breath. If you want to lose weight, you are much better off limiting your calorie intake, while following the U.S. Dietary Guidelines which recommend that 45 to 65 percent of your calories come from carbohydrates.