Everyone’s heard the old adage, “You are what you eat.” Unfortunately, many people tend to ignore it. But, that little bit of wisdom is actually true, and if you’re not getting the nutrients you need, you could wind up with some serious health problems, including problems involving your teeth and gums.
Data show that most Americans don’t follow a healthy eating plan, leaving them open to deficiencies that can affect their wellness. Having an eating plan tailored to your nutritional needs and lifestyle habits is the key to reaping the benefits of good nutrition.
At Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Michigan, Abir Faraj, DDS, offers nutritional counseling to her patients to help them eat well and stay healthy. In this post, Dr. Faraj reviews some of the ways poor nutrition can affect your oral health and overall wellness.
How nutritional deficiencies occur
Every organ and tissue in your body depends on specific vitamins and nutrients to function properly. Even small declines in specific nutrients can interfere with normal function and increase your risk of developing serious health problems.
The good news is, most of us can get all the nutrients we need with a healthy, balanced diet. The bad news is many of us sacrifice nutrition as we deal with the stresses of our busy lives. Let’s face it: It’s a lot easier to reach for a prepackaged meal or stop by a fast food place than it is to plan out and prepare a healthy, balanced meal.
On top of that, some health problems, including common digestive problems, can affect how nutrients are absorbed, which can increase the risk for deficiencies. Even chronic stress can interfere with digestion and how well the body takes in nutrients.
Nutrition and your health
Recent data show that Americans are deficient in many key nutrients, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E, as well as folate and iron. Many people are also deficient in zinc and calcium.
Many of these nutrients play key roles in keeping your immune system healthy. That means if nutrient levels dip below optimal levels, you could be more prone to getting colds, the flu, and other infections and illnesses.
At the same time, long-term deficiencies can significantly increase your chances of developing chronic medical problems, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver disease
- Mood and hormone disorders
Poor nutrition is also a potential cause of suffering oral health problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Making things even more complicated is the fact that nutritional needs can change dramatically as you go through life. The nutrients a child requires can be vastly different from the needs of an older adult. Regular nutritional counseling can help you adapt your diet to those changes over time.
Improving your personal nutrition
One of the best ways to improve your nutritional profile is to schedule a nutritional counseling appointment with Dr. Faraj. She can discuss what your eating patterns are and help you design a nutritional plan that can help keep your oral and overall health in top shape.
To make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need, call 313-646-7903 or book an appointment online with Novi Family Dentistry today.