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The Association Of Weight With Dental Health

When you read about the health risks of obesity, issues such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, GERD, arthritis and other diseases are most prominent.  However, let’s focus on “Dental Health” today.  We all strive to have beautiful smiles, healthy teeth and not spend fortunes at the dentist’s office, so, if we get our weight under better control will improved dental health follow?

Tooth decay is a common and painful problem that affects millions of people around the world. It occurs when the bacteria in your mouth produces acid that attacks the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities and eventually leading to tooth loss. Some of the signs of tooth decay include sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, pain when biting and chewing, and visible holes or brown spots on your teeth.

There is a strong link between obesity and tooth decay, as obesity can cause a number of changes in your body that can increase your risk of developing dental problems. For example, people who are overweight are more likely to have dry mouth, which can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth and increase the risk of tooth decay. Those who are overweight are also more likely to have high levels of sugar in their diet, which can feed the bacteria in your mouth and increase the risk of cavities.

In addition, the dietary patterns that cause the weight control problem (high carb/high fat) also are factors that cause teeth to decay.  Gum disease is seen with increased frequency when people are overweight/obese.

Although not as headline-catching as the life-threatening obesity related co-morbidities, poor weight control impacts our teeth in a negative manner.   Yet, another motivation for all of us to stay steadfast in our weight control efforts.

And a smile is great when accompanied by a wink…enjoy the song and scene from “Sleepless in Seattle”



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