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Diet, Disease, and Your Teeth

You know that healthy eating is very important for living a long, happy life. Now a new study puts a big exclamation point behind that statement. This new study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that a huge proportion of deaths in this country are directly related to poor eating habits.

Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths Each Year

Specifically, the study showed that nearly half of deaths caused by heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are related to poor eating habits. These three causes are all in the top 7 overall causes of death in the US. Heart disease is the leading cause of death.

Of the 702,000+ deaths related to these three causes, 317,000 (45%) are directly related to poor diet.

The Biggest Diet Failings

The study also analyzed the dietary factors that contributed to these deaths. Here are the biggest offenders, followed by their estimated increased death risk:

  • Too much sodium: 9.5%
  • Not enough nuts and seeds: 8.5%
  • Too much processed meat: 8.2%
  • Not enough seafood omega-3 fats: 7.8%
  • Not enough vegetables: 7.6%
  • Not enough fruits: 7.5%
  • Too many sugar-sweetened beverages: 7.4%
  • Not enough whole grains: 5.9%
  • Not enough polyunsaturated fats: 2.3%
  • Too much unprocessed red meat: 0.4%

Researchers note that these are based on overall population averages, and aren’t necessarily indicative of an individual’s risk, which can be dependent on a lot of other factors. But, all things being equal, this is how much difference your diet can make.

Teeth and Your Diet

So what does this have to do with your teeth? A lot!

First, let’s note the presence of sugar-sweetened beverages on the list above. These sugar-sweetened beverages aren’t just bad for your health: they’re bad for your teeth. They can significantly increase your risk of cavities and, ultimately, tooth loss.

And what happens when you lose your teeth? It becomes harder to eat certain foods, and look at how many of those hard-to-eat foods are on this list: Nuts and seeds, vegetables, and fruits. These are all foods that are hard to eat with dentures. If you don’t maintain your teeth, they won’t be there when you need them to eat a nutritious and healthy diet.

An image of fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats

Better Alternatives

So what can you do if you have lost teeth or you’re facing the loss of teeth, but want to keep eating a healthy diet? Skip the dentures and go for dental implants. Because dental implants are fully fixed in your jaw like natural teeth, they can look and function like natural teeth. And that includes eating all kinds of challenging foods, including nuts, seeds, and crunchy vegetables.

We offer incredibly attractive and functional Prettau bridges. These can replace a full arch of teeth and they can help you maintain healthy bite function to foster a healthy diet.

Do you want to learn whether Prettau bridges can help you preserve a functional bite after you’ve lost teeth? Please call 229-242-5511 today for an appointment at the office of Valdosta, GA dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.

April 4th, 2017|Dental Implants, Dentures|