Most people know that eating sugary foods increases the risk of developing cavities. However, the foods you eat can affect your oral health in other ways, too.
Abir Faraj, DDS, and the team at Novi Family Dentistry are dedicated to helping patients in Novi, Michigan, improve their oral health at every age. In addition to advanced, patient-centered dental treatments, Dr. Faraj and her team offer nutritional counseling, with tips and guidance based on each patient’s unique oral health needs.
The American Dental Association recognizes a “bidirectional relationship” between oral health and nutrition. What you eat can influence your oral health, and your oral health can influence what you eat.
For instance, diets that include a lot of sugars are more closely linked with tooth decay and other oral health issues. At the same time, having painful cavities or inflamed gums could make you less likely to eat certain foods — such as apples or carrots — which are associated with good nutrition.
Furthermore, consuming lots of carbohydrates could increase the production of plaque, which is a sticky film that coats the surfaces of teeth and feeds decay-causing bacteria. Over time, plaque can turn into hard tartar, which could lead to gum disease and even tooth loss.
In turn, if you get gum disease or lose teeth, this could affect your food choices, which could affect your oral and overall health.
Nutrition is complex, and it’s also highly individualized, with nutritional needs varying dramatically depending on your age and other factors. On your own, it can be difficult to ensure you’re getting the right amount of different nutrients to support your oral and overall health.
At Novi Family Dentistry, nutritional counseling begins with a review of your overall health and lifestyle to help identify your unique risk factors. Nutritional needs and oral health risks can change significantly from one age to the next, with children, teens, and older adults all having very different needs and risk factors.
During a counseling visit, Dr. Faraj will help you understand your own risk factors and how you can make simple dietary changes to reduce your risks and improve your oral health. Regular dental exams can also help identify issues that could be improved — or even prevented — with a personalized nutritional counseling program.
Poor oral health can have a lifelong impact on your health and other areas of your life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says poor oral health during childhood can have a detrimental effect on success in adulthood.
Improving nutrition is a simple yet effective way to improve your oral health and the oral health of your child. To learn more about nutritional counseling and how you can incorporate it into your regular routine, book an appointment online or over the phone with Novi Family Dentistry today.