Rumor has it that at any given time, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are dieting to shed some extra pounds. Those fighting the battle of the bulge often spend time monitoring caloric consumption, exercising and eating nutritious foods and those who make the extra commitment to their oral hygiene may gain and advantage over the competition.
The connection between body weight and oral health is more than a link between what type (and how much) food a person shoves into their mouth on a daily basis. The mouth and teeth are considered to be a microcosm reflecting a body's complete state of health. Dental problems have been scientifically proven to contribute to a myriad of issues such as heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Obesity is also part of the mix, but practicing great dental health behaviors (such as brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist) can help combat that issue.
Obesity has long been attributed to a sedentary lifestyle backed by an unhealthy diet, however research has indicated that an excess in oral bacteria may also contribute to the problems. Estimates suggest that there are more than 600 species of oral bacteria and obese people have a greater quantity of the critters.
The findings have come courtesy of British researchers who analyzed saliva samples from 500 women, 60 percent of them diagnosed as being clinically obese. Those samples were compared to saliva from a control group of women with a healthy weight, and The British Dental Health Foundation found that 98 percent of the overweight women had significantly higher levels of selenomonas noxia, a species of oral bacteria that has been linked to gum disease and a decline in dental health. The bacteria are thought to be a potential indicator for future weight gain.
In a similar but separate study conducted at the Forsyth Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, the saliva of 313 women with unhealthy BMIs underwent the same analysis. This team of scientists came to the identical conclusion leading to the hypothesis "...that oral bacteria may participate in the pathology that leads to obesity," (http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/88/6/519.full).
Practicing good oral hygiene can help keep the development of selenomonas noxia at bay and may potentially curb weight gain. Additional research is needed before the theory is fully vetted, but dentists will always encourage good oral hygiene as it will indeed lower levels of dental plaque and any health problems linked to the community of organisms.
Snacking is a favorite American past time and the passion for those types of treats fuel a multi-billion dollar industry. While some people intentionally graze all day to feel full and energized, others absentmindedly grab excess food just for the heck of it. Brushing teeth with regularity can help curb the cravings as minty fresh breath can be its own reward.
The act of mastication requires food to enter the mouth. Then chewing to break the food down and swallowing is part of that program. During the chewing stage of the game, tiny particle of foods and trace elements of sugar will remain on teeth. Those tiny fragments will continually break down and enter one's bloodstream, continuously triggering off saliva production and more food cravings.
Brushing and flossing will remove those food particles and stop the process from stimulating appetite. In order to get the best results from this strategy, individuals are advised to wait for thirty minutes after dining prior to taking toothbrush to teeth. The various foods consumed and the natural digestion process soften tooth enamel and waiting will let the material harden-up and prevent against unnecessary wear and tear of teeth.
One common weight loss strategy is a reward system that encourages dieters to treat themselves to something for every pound loss. While some dieters may erroneously think that means eating an ice cream cone or cookie, the task is better regulated to something like taking a bath, downloading new music or even focusing on dental health as that move is a big confidence booster that can help reinforce the positive feedback associated with weight loss.
The reward can be as simple as purchasing a DIY tooth whitening kit or splurging on cosmetic dentistry to completely rebuild a smile. Both those dental care options can help make a smile look great, boosting confidence and can help a person garner kudos and attention to weight loss and an improvement in appearance. In turn, that can help strengthen the commitment to any fitness or weight loss goal and can help keep a dieter on track and on point.
Individuals struggling with their weight and interested in how dental health can help them achieve goals can ask their dentist for more advice on the subject. For those needing to find a dentist, 1-800-DENTIST is here to help 24/7.