In recent years, medical research in Canada, Great Britain and Sweden has proven a strong link between dental health and obesity. How are the two linked? The connection is actually two-fold.
First, it is commonly understood that oral health can have a major impact on a person’s eating habits. Eating fewer fruits, vegetables and foods with high fibre and more high-fat, high-calorie foods are common for individuals with oral-health problems. Those who have lost teeth or suffer from periodontal diseases have been found to be at an increased risk of being obese due to their inability to chew common healthy foods high in nutrients and fibre.
In addition to this, there is another link as well.
Numerous studies have shown oral health issues often go hand in hand with an elevated BMI (body mass index). What you consume and how often you consume it leads to an increased risk of tooth decay and cavities. Those frequently turn to salty or sugary foods often have issues with weight, and definitely with oral hygiene. The greater the exposure to these foods, the greater the risk for plaque build-up, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. In addition to this, having excess fat tissue allows your gums to become inflamed more easily by providing them with a good area for macrophages to populate, which can contribute to inflammation and decay.
Eating healthy then, is essential to our overall health but also to our oral health. The quality of our diet often determines the quality of our health. If we take small steps to reduce or eliminate junk foods and sugary beverages, to monitor what we are eating and when, and to take care of our mouth with proper daily brushing and flossing, this may result in better physical health and also in less time in the dentist’s chair!
By visiting the dentist, not only will you learn about your individual oral health, and possibly also about the health of the rest of your body. The next time you visit us at North Burnaby Dental Group, feel free to inquire for more information about what you can do to maintain your oral and overall health for years to come.