How Being Vegan or Vegetarian Affects Your Oral Health

October 11, 2019

Are you a vegan or vegetarian? You might think, what does this have to do with dental; a lot. Veganism or vegetarianism affects your oral cavity in many ways. Here is how:

Weak Teeth

Eating a diet that eliminates dairy and fish can result in a shortage of Vitamin D and calcium. This lack of nutrition causes your teeth to soften putting you at higher risk for periodontal disease and tooth decay. Yikes!

What can you do to ensure you get enough Vitamin D? Try getting out in the sun. Exposure to the sun is a natural source of Vitamin D but avoid staying out too long without sunscreen to limit your risk of skin cancer and sunburns. Mushrooms are a great food source to help increase your vitamin D levels. Why not try incorporating a variety of these tasty fungi into your diet? How can you get more calcium? Tofu is a wonderful calcium-rich food as well as broccoli, collard greens and other green leafy vegetables.

Cavity Prone

As a vegan or vegetarian, you are prone to cavities. How? Eliminating meat from your diet while substituting sugary products opens your mouth up to lots of plaque which causes cavities. Where does all this plaque come from? You likely have a higher intake of sugars by consuming more fruit in your vegetarian diet.

How can you best avoid a cavity-prone mouth without the consumption of meat? Be mindful of the amount of fruit and other sugary foods you eat. Being a vegetarian doesn’t me you have to eliminate nature's delectable delights to avoid cavities, just look for alternatives to replace high sugar foods.

Tooth Loss

If your periodontal disease gets out of hand, you can lose your teeth. A toothless vegan, vegetarian, or even meat lover, does not have a beautiful smile. Tooth loss can occur as a result of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Meats and cheeses are filled with B12 but most vegetables lack this source of nutrition.

What can you do? Take B12 supplements available from a health food store to keep your oral cavity healthy and your teeth in your mouth, where they belong.

Ask your dentist for recommendations on how to maintain your vegetarian or vegan diet and have a healthy oral cavity. There are many options out there for vegetarians and vegans to keep a healthy oral future. Regardless of whether your preference is cauliflower steak or Alberta grade A filet mignon, keep up on brushing and flossing your teeth.

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