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The Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Your Oral Health

August 13, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — ecodental @ 8:07 pm
smiling woman wearing vegan shirt

With veganism on the rise, more and more people are choosing to stop eating meat or other animal products. Though many people cut out these foods and drinks in an attempt to take better care of their body, this can actually lead to oral health complications. Here’s how a vegan diet affects your oral health and ways to keep your mouth in the best possible shape.

How a Meatless Diet Can Impact Your Oral Health

Even though veganism may have a positive impact on the planet, it can be devastating to your oral health. Many vegans and vegetarians eat snacks throughout the day to meet their body’s energy needs. Every time you eat, the naturally occuring bacteria in your mouth feeds off the sugars and carbs from the food in your mouth which produces cavity-causing acids. So, the more often you eat, the more you fuel the bacteria that causes cavities. The foods vegetarians and vegans eat also often include carb-rich, acidic, dry, or sticky fruits. The acid from these foods paired with the additional acid from constant snacking can lead to weak tooth enamel resulting in cavities.

Research suggests that dairy, meat, and seafood may counteract acidity in the mouth and aid in the remineralization of teeth. Remineralization occurs when minerals such as fluoride, phosphate, and calcium reunite with tooth enamel through eating and drinking. When there’s an imbalance between these two processes, tooth decay can occur.

What You Can Do About It

Though vegan and vegetarian diets raise your chances of experiencing tooth decay, there are several ways you can keep your teeth healthy and happy if you choose to follow them. Some examples include:

  • Snacking less often
  • Avoiding sticky, acidic fruits
  • Chewing gum containing Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables in small amounts
  • Drinking plenty of water to rinse out your mouth
  • Waiting half an hour after snacking to brush your teeth since tooth enamel is temporarily softened after eating due to the increased acidity
  • Eating green, leafy vegetables, nuts, and sea vegetables such as seaweed to aid in remineralization. Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews can also help fight the bacteria that leads to tooth decay
  • Taking supplements that provide you with the vitamins and minerals your diet is lacking

While cutting out meat and animal products can have adverse effects on your oral health, managing your diet the right way can help you avoid serious complications. So, make sure to speak with your dentist about your change in lifestyle to ensure that your teeth stay in tip-top shape!

About the Practice

Dr. Danny Nguyen, Dr. Cindy Hua, and the whole Eco Dental team take pride in providing a wide range of dental services. They aim to create an environment where patients can feel comfortable, relaxed, and well cared for. Their office uses planet-friendly materials, many of which come from recycled resources. With locations in Sugar Land and Pearland, TX, convenient care is just a phone call away! To learn more about how meat-free diets can take a toll on your dental health, visit our website or call our Pearland office at (713) 436-5655 and our Sugarland office at (281) 491-9494.

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