3 Ways Your Low-Calorie Diet Can Hurt Your Teeth

If you want to shed a few pounds quickly, the idea of a low-calorie diet may be appealing. While the weight will come off fast, it will probably be only "water weight."  Not only can low-calorie diets lead to fatigue, dizziness, poor concentration, and muscle pain, they can also cause problems with your teeth. Before starting your diet, be sure to check with your physician and dental professional.  Here are three ways your calorie restrictive diet can harm your mouth and what you can do about them.

1. Bleeding Gums

Even in the absence of gingivitis, a low-calorie diet can cause bleeding gums. This is thought to be the result of nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin C deficiencies. Ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in gum health. If you fail to consume enough tvitamin C through your diet, your gums may bleed.  

A severe vitamin C deficiency can cause a medical condition known as scurvy, and in addition to bleeding gums, scurvy can cause tooth loss, yellowing of your skin or eyes, joint pain, and severe weakness. 

If you are dieting, make sure you tell your dentist so that he or she can closely monitor the condition of your teeth and gums. In the meantime, talk to your physician about taking vitamin C supplements which will help reverse the symptoms of scurvy while improving the health of your gums.

2. Diminished Salivary Flow

Low calorie diets can also caused impeded salivary flow and subsequent dry mouth. When your mouth is too dry, bacteria can build up inside your oral cavity, and because of this, raise your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. 

If your mouth gets too dry while dieting, drink plenty of water throughout the day and try chewing sugarless gum to stimulate your salivary glands to produce more saliva.  In addition to combating dry mouth, drinking enough water will help you stay full so that you do not overeat or eat the wrong foods that may sabotage your weight loss efforts.

3. Plaque Buildup

Extreme dieting can also lead to plaque formation on and in-between your teeth. This may be related to a dry mouth, nutrient deficiencies, and a sluggish metabolism, which is common in those who drastically decrease their caloric intake. It is important that you maintain a meticulous regimen of oral care during your diet to reduce your risk of plaque accumulation on your teeth. To further reduce this risk, see your dentist for regular professional cleanings. 

If you are following a low-calorie diet, see your dentist on a regular basis. When he or she knows that your diet has drastically changed, your oral status will be monitored more closely so that potential problems can be quickly recognized and addressed. Check out a website like http://www.brooksidedentalgroup.com for more information and assistance.