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Intermittent Fasting: Is it Good for Your Oral Health?

Intermittent Fasting: Is it Good for Your Oral Health?

Today, a lot of people seem to change their diet as frequently as they change their toothbrushes. Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity, joining the ranks of keto and other diet trends. Known as IF for short, it has been all the rage these past few years. In fact, a survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation states that at least 10 percent of Americans who diet practice intermittent fasting. 

IF’s popularity is largely due to its simplicity. Rather than counting calories or preparing special meals, IF only puts restrictions on when you eat, not what you eat. You consume food at designated intervals, making your body consume all the calories available and use or burn stored fat for energy.

Read on to know more about the connection between intermittent fasting and oral health.

Below are some of IF’s benefits:

  • Recent studies show that intermittent fasting may reduce inflammation, lowering your risk of gum disease and other health conditions like heart disease and cancer.
  • You will most likely lose weight since you are reducing your calorie intake.
  • Some studies have shown that it lowers the risk for cavities since the frequency of snacking is reduced.
  • Other research suggests that fasting can help improve memory.

All these sound great, are there considerations that I need to be aware of?

Regardless of when or what you are eating, we encourage you to maintain a well-balanced diet, for the sake of both your oral and overall health. This means plenty of lean proteins, as well as fruits and vegetables. When you are on a diet, it can be quite easy to have the mindset of “I am losing weight, I deserve a treat.” However, indulging in sweets will just lead to cavities and tooth decay.

Food deprivation for long periods of time presents its own issues as well. It is highly possible for you to feel tired and hungry, however, you may also experience dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, headaches, heartburn, or nausea.

These symptoms can cause the following health concerns:

  • Dry mouth will leave you more prone to cavities.
  • Insomnia can lead to late-night snacking.
  • Nausea and heartburn may lead to acid reflux and vomiting and can cause enamel damage.
  • Not eating can also cause your body’s cortisol level to rise. Cortisol is a stress hormone and may lead to mouth sores or teeth grinding.

The verdict: IF seems to be an effective way to lose weight, but we strongly suggest that you talk to your physician and your Dallas dentist before starting a new diet. Remember, eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are always wonderful ways to keep you in optimal health.