Dieting and Oral Health

By now, you know that diets don’t work and they that seriously disrupt your relationship with food and your body.

In the quest for weight loss, we often overlook our teeth and gums.

However if you have ever had to have work done to your teeth, you’ll know it can be a painful and lengthy process!


So how can dieting affect the health of our teeth and gums?


Diet-Binge Cycle:

You know the drill, restriction or deprivation of foods can cause you to crave it uncontrollably, thus causing you to lose your cool when confronted with it and eat past the point of comfortable fullness. One way in which a binge is characterised is the speed at which the food is eaten. When we eat too quickly, food doesn’t have a chance to breakdown properly before continuing on its journey. This doesn’t give our mouth time to produce saliva, which aids in the breakdown of what we’re eating – leaving our teeth more prone to damage.



Diets are STRESSFUL! Whether it’s our body’s which are stressed from the lack of sufficient nutrients  and being over-exercised, or we’re suffering from the mental effects of controlling and calculating our food.

When we eat in a state of stress, food isn’t as well broken down as it could be. In terms of our oral health this can lead to poor nutrient absorption and acid reflux – both of which can affect teeth and gums.

Stress can also contribute lead to tooth grinding and can worsen pain.


Restricting Carbohydrates:

Low-carb diets ranges from paleo to the ketogenic diet. By cutting out carbohydrates like grains and pulses, your body in not burning carbohydrates (its preferred fuel) and burns fat instead. This results in the body releasing ketones, however an overload of ketones can make your body burn muscle as well which causes fatigue and even heart damage in some cases.

A key sign of ketosis? Your breath starts to smell like nail polish remover.


Reducing Fat:

This sounds obvious but when opting for ‘low fat’ versions of foods consistently, or omitting oils and nuts from your diet, you may be interfering with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Vitamin D is especially important as it helps your body to absorb calcium. Teeth and bones can break down if your body not absorbing calcium efficiently.


Calorie-Deficit/Calorie Counting:

Undereating not only mean lacking in macronutrients like protein carbohydrates and fats, but also could mean you are not getting the sufficient minerals and vitamins needed to maintain good oral health (and overall health!). Malnutrition is bad news all around, but for your mouth it can mean a weakened jawbone (causing teeth to move or fall out), softened enamel (increasing your chance of cavities) and deficient gums (making you vulnerable to gum disease).


For more information on how you can ease up on the food rules and make peace with your body, get in touch or you can find me at the Sonrisa Dental Clinic