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Benefits news: Dieting and your teeth

The skinny on dieting and your teeth
Mar 7, 2016

Embarking on a new diet?  Then you've probably got your waistline—not your teeth—in mind. But weight-loss diets can have a major impact on your oral health.

Find out how popular dieting strategies can affect your mouth.

  1. Low-fat diet - Eating a diet low in fat can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K. Vitamin D is especially important to oral health, as it helps the body absorb calcium. When your body can't absorb calcium, your teeth and bones start to break down.
  2. Low-carb diet - When you are on a low- or no-carb diet, one way you can tell its working is if your breath starts to smell like nail polish remover. It is a tell-tale sign of ketosis, the process in which your body starts burning fat instead of carbs for fuel, releasing chemicals called ketones. Drinking water or brushing your teeth can help with this. 
  3. Low-calorie diet - Cutting calories may be an effective way to lose weight, but reducing your food intake too much can wreak havoc on your health, since it depletes your body of necessary minerals and vitamins. Malnutrition is bad news all around, but for your mouth it can mean a weakened jawbone, softened enamel and deficient gums.
  4. Fruit detox - It may seem harmless to survive on only fruits and maybe vegetables for a week or so, but such a limited diet can have consequences for your mouth and body.  Besides the effects of malnutrition, the high levels of sugar and acid in most fruits can damage your enamel, leaving your teeth and gums vulnerable to decay and infection.
  5. Diet pills - By cutting down your salivary flow, diet pills leave you with a dry mouth and host of oral health problems. Saliva is a natural defense against decay.  

Consider consulting your doctor and dentist prior to jumping into a new diet. There are plenty of great articles on the Delta Dental website at

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