Did you know that there’s a strong link between losing weight and oral health in South Daytona? It’s true. The same kind of devoted discipline that helps you to shed pounds can also lower your risk for tooth decay and gum disease; and vice versa. This is yet more proof that our bodies work as a unified whole. It’s also added reason to see your dentist for regular exams and cleanings.
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Waistline
To see why oral health and weight loss are interconnected, it’s important to understand the threat that sugar and simple carbs pose when consumed in excessive amounts. Here’s what nutritional experts have learned:
- There is a strong correlation between sugar consumption and obesity rates. Put plainly, people who eat a lot of sweets tend to weigh more than those who don’t, even when other factors are taken into consideration.
- Sugar is also the preferred fuel source of cavity-causing bacteria. The connection is so strong that the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived thousands of years ago, noticed that people who ate lots of sweets tend to have more cavities than those who don’t.
- People who reduce their sugar consumption not only lose weight, they also enjoy healthier teeth and gums as a result.
Add up all the clues and the evidence becomes overwhelming. Sugar is bad news for people trying to enjoy better health. This is especially true when it comes to processed sugar, the kind typically found in packaged foods and beverages.
What about Carbs?
The picture becomes a little more nuanced when it comes to carbohydrates. That’s because carbohydrates fall into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbs turn into sugar almost immediately after they are digested. They’re also more likely to stick to your teeth and promote plaque buildup.
On the other hand, complex carbs, like the kind found in whole grain breads in many types of produce, take much longer to complete this process. They release their energy slowly, not all at once. They’re also far less likely to cause cavities.
Three Ways to Wean Yourself off Sugar and Simple Carbs
The takeaway from this nutritional knowledge is clear: those who want to enjoy better health should minimize their consumption of sugar and simple carbs. But how do you do this without suffering from hunger pangs? Here are three helpful tips:
- Make your withdrawal from sugar a little at a time. For example, let’s say you have a candy bar every day during your work break. Why not eat an apple instead? It’s those kinds of incremental changes that lead to lasting results.
- Try sugar-free versions of your favorite snacks. Alternative sweeteners provide much of the same flavor that brings you back to those sugary indulgences again and again. Yet they’re often lower in calories and pose much less risk to your teeth and gums.
- Read the labels. Food manufacturers are required by law to list the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in their products.
Your dentist in South Daytona can give you other ideas for reducing your sugar intake. Make an appointment to see him or her soon. You’ll soon have plenty of sweet reasons to celebrate.
About the Author
Dr. Sean Bannan is a second-generation dentist who earned his DDS degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Florida Dental Association. You can reach his office online or by calling (386) 761-5883.