You bet it can! It’s important for patients to remember that all parts of the body are connected, and the way you treat or take care of one part can have astonishing effects on another part. For example, if you’re eating a lot of sugary foods, even brushing your teeth after each meal may not be enough to prevent tooth decay.
When the sugar in foods comes in contact with plaque on your teeth, an acidic compound is created that will immediately begin to attack the tooth enamel. Eat sugary foods often, and you can see how your teeth can suffer.
Even non-sugary foods can cause problems if you’re snacking frequently throughout the day. When you eat a meal, more saliva is released in your mouth — that helps to wash the food away from your teeth and gums. If you’re just popping a mouthful here and there, you won’t get the same effect and that can cause food to accumulate at the gum line, leading to cavities and gingivitis. Regardless of the frequency of your meals, you should be brushing and flossing after each one.
For the best health benefits, don’t think of a “diet” as a restrictive and temporary weight-loss solution. Rather, consider your diet a life-long plan for good physical and dental health. Have questions about how your diet is affecting your teeth? Just ask!