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Dieting and Dental Health: 1800Dentist.com

Americans are not blind to the nation's obesity epidemic. As a matter of fact, in the last decade approximately 70 percent of adult females and 30 percent of males have dieted to shed extra pounds. While some of those individuals have gone about the process the smart way by reducing calorie intact, making sure that each bite of food is packed with nutrition and exercising, others have opted to follow the latest diet trends. Those who favored the latter approach are unknowingly contributing to dental problems including bad breath, tooth erosion and other dental issues.

There is no arguing that packing on the pounds can be detrimental to dental health as obesity has been scientifically linked to increased rate of dental issues including tooth decay and gum disease with packing on the pounds. However, individuals need to be aware that how the excess weight is lost can also negatively impact the dental health of even those most committed to their dental care regimes.

Pure Protein Diet=Bad Breath

In 1972, Robert Atkins introduced the concept of a low-carb diet into the American vernacular. However, when the Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution was published at the turn of the 21st century, the trend of limiting carbohydrates (including healthy whole grains, vegetables and fruits) became main stream and as a result, the nation's breath soured and halitosis started to rise.

During the initial sages of a high protein diet, the body is forced to burn fat to produce energy. Ketones are the side effect of the process and the stinky organic compound will accumulate in both the bloodstream and saliva. 1-800-DENTIST defines saliva as being the "...watery compound produced by the intricate network of salivary glands. Humans' saliva is composed of 98 percent water with the remaining percentage containing a mix of electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and assorted enzymes," that an essential component to how mammals digest. Since everyone has saliva, individuals who opt to follow the Atkin’s diet plan should brace themselves for smelly breath as a side effect.

Plus, proteins are a favorite food for oral bacteria, the body's natural critters aiding in the breakdown of trace elements of food left behind after eating. According to dentist Paul Bussman bacteria mixed with high-protein foods will release more sulfur compounds into the atmosphere and that compound is the main cause of bad breath (http://www.prevention.com/health/health/health-concerns/slim-hips-bad-breath/article/c3ab88dc78803110VgnVCM10000013281eac____).


Master Cleanse=Tooth Erosion

Day in and day out the average American is bombarded with images of flawless beauty thanks to our celebrity driven culture. A majority of the beautiful folks are part of the Hollywood scene and Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Megan Fox and Anne Hathaway have all reported partaking in the Master Cleanse diet to help "detox" and keep slim to succeed in their chosen professions. Regardless of their weight loss results, one thing is true, the diet strategy may contribute to unnecessary erosion of tooth enamel.

The Master Cleanse diet involves committing to drinking a concoction of fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper into pure water and nothing else for days on end. Although citrus fruits are an excellent form of nutrition especially for natural vitamin C, the constant influx of acidic lemon juice onto tooth surfaces will soften tooth enamel and can lead to unnecessary dental wear and tear. 1-800-DENTIST states "Drinking lemon juice can put you at risk for tooth erosion, a condition where the thin, protective layer of enamel slowly wears away from your teeth. Lemon juice contains acid, which irritates gums and softens tooth enamel," and a diet rich in the food will make matters worse.

Eating Disorders=Many Dental Problems

Statistics indicates that 8 million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders are a mental illness that is demonstrated by eating behaviors such as binging and purging (bulimia nervosa) or complete deprivation (anorexia nervosa). Regardless of which form the abnormal eating pattern is being followed, both conditions will contribute to a decline in dental health.

Bulimics have been known to feast on huge quantities of food and to regurgitate the nutrition to avoid potential weight gain. The mental disease can trigger feelings of guilt, shame and can cause dental problems because of the bile constantly passed over teeth. Bile is an acidic digestive fluid produced by most vertebrates to aid in digestion. The liquid is meant to stay in the intestines to fully digest food, but bulimics constantly force the acidic and foul smelling substance over their teeth via vomiting. The high acid levels in the compound will erode tooth enamel, contribute to tooth decay and can cause tooth discoloration.

Anorexics tend to shun food altogether and if food is consumed, the options provide very little nutrition essential to dental health and general well being. The more the body is deprived, the closer a patient will come to starvation and a slew of dental problems. A person deprived of nutrients stands a greater chance of developing osteoporosis and can expect the connectivity between their jawbone and teeth to become weakened, increasing the odds of tooth loss and the additional woes associated with missing teeth.

Time and time again science has proven that a healthful diet supported by exercise is the best and smartest way to lose weight and keep it off. Individuals struggling to figure out exactly how to do that task should follow the new Nutrition Plate issued by the United States Department of Agriculture and incorporate exercises for dental health and general well being. Before starting any weight loss plan, getting a physical from a doctor and a dental checkup from a dentist is a smart idea and 1-800-DENTIST can help those in need find a dentist to assist in the task.

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