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Diet and Oral Health

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In a time where new diets are coming out each week and everyone wants to have a beach ready body, it is important to remember there are some health risks with these fad diets.

There is a lot of research that Mediterranean diets are one of the healthiest. Emphasis on fish, poultry, nuts, and whole grains provides healthy fats and nutrition. These foods are also considered to be low inflammatory which helps with chronic inflammatory syndromes, including heart disease, allergies, diabetes, gingivitis, and more. Another diet plan that gained popularity in the 90’s as a way to use diet to reduce high blood pressure is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, for short. With DASH, the main focus is to lower ingestion of sodium. Over the years, this diet has proven to be just as effective as certain blood pressure medications for some people. However, in recent years, many new diets have come to popularity. While some have health benefits when executed correctly, many pose health risks.

 

For example, vegan diets can be beneficial to many people, but it is important to supplement important nutrients that are lost in a plant-based diet, such as vitamin B12 and iron. People who are on non-dairy diets should be sure to supplement vitamin D and calcium. This is especially prevalent in people who have periodontitis. Vitamin D and calcium deficiency have been shown to speed up the process of bone and attachment loss.

 

Liquid diets can also have more negative effects than positive ones for health. Studies have shown that people who only consume liquids throughout the day actually end up feeling more hungry. This is because the brain using chewing stimulation to feel satiated. Without chewing, the brain does not fully recognize that the body is receiving nutrients and people are left feeling like they have not eaten enough or at all.

 

These liquid only diets also pose a threat to oral health. The jaw is like any other bone in the body that needs to be worked in order to be strong. It needs the mechanics of chewing to be maintained. In addition, chewing stimulates saliva production which is important for neutralizing the pH of the mouth and preventing decay.

 

Along with maintaining a balanced diet, it is important to include probiotics. This will ensure a healthy number of good bacteria to help fight off the bad bacteria in the mouth and gut. If there is ever an imbalance of bacteria, disease causing bacteria can multiply unchecked and create health issues.

 

As with anything else, consult your doctor before starting any diet to make sure it is the right diet for you. Always make sure to supplement any nutrients that may be missing in your new diet and take probiotics. Remember, what you put in your mouth affects your entire body.

 

References

Enemali, Grace. “Best Foods for a Healthy Teeth and Gum.” Grace NGO Foundation. http://www.gracengofoundation.org.ng/2018/08/best-foods-for-healthy-teeth-and-gum.html.

Newman, Elizabeth. “When Diet Meets Dentition.” AGD Impact. Vol. 47, No. 1, January, 2019, pp. 8-13.

“U.S. News Reveals Best Diet Rankings for 2019.” U.S. News & World Report, 2 Jan. 2019. https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2019-01-02/us-news-reveals-best-diets-rankings-for-2019.

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