Weight loss is the most common New Year’s Resolution. This is good for your health, but it could also be good for your teeth. We’ve already talked about the role that poor oral health can play in weight gain, so it makes sense to talk about the opposite effect: how losing weight can be good for your teeth.
Many of the foods that lead to weight gain are also bad for your teeth. That’s because they are calorie-dense with high levels of carbohydrates, especially sugars, that can feed oral bacteria, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
So when you start to limit your consumption of these foods, you may notice that your oral health improves, too.
Even more important is to cut out between meal snacking. Constant snacking is the worst for teeth because it creates a steady supply of food for oral bacteria, which allows them to keep increasing their population and producing acid that damages your teeth.
Another benefit of losing weight is that it can reduce the inflammation in your body. Fat releases inflammatory compounds that can put the body’s immune system on high alert. This can be bad for your oral health.
In gum disease, the damage is caused just as much by your body’s immune response as by the oral bacteria. Some of the problem is that oral bacteria can hijack your body’s immune system. But the problem is also that chronic inflammation can trigger an exaggerated immune response. This can become more likely if your body is already experiencing inflammation.