Could a vegan diet put your dental health at risk?
Although vegan diets are often associated with health benefits, it is important to note that any diet can be unhealthy if you choose the wrong foods, or the meals and snacks you consume don’t contain the nutrients needed by the body for optimum health. Many people choose to go vegan as a result of wanting to make healthier choices, but there are concerns that some are assuming that switching to a vegan diet will automatically improve their health. The key to healthy eating lies in finding the right balance and including foods that contain vitamins and minerals and the food groups that are needed to keep the body properly fuelled.
One concern that has been raised by dental professionals is the impact of a vegan diet on oral health. Dentists are worried that cutting out certain foods can increase the risk of problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Many people who have a vegan diet struggle to hit the recommended daily protein and calcium intake, and this could contribute to elevated levels of decay. In fact, some dentists have already reported an increase in the number of patients experiencing decay after changing their diet.
Calcium is vital for healthy teeth and bones, but there’s also a worry that vegans consume more starchy and sweet foods, such as grains, seeds and fruit, and this increases the risk of acid erosion.
The advice from dentists for those who are considering switching to a vegan diet is to take nutritional advice from health professionals and ensure their diet contains the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body. In cases where there are deficiencies, it’s often advisable to take vitamin supplements, but patients should consult their GP for advice.