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Losing weight and keeping it off is often challenging. No matter how many diets or exercises you try, the weight stays on or comes back with a vengeance. That’s because most people overlook the connection between weight and oral health. Poor dental hygiene is associated with a higher body weight and general decreased wellbeing, so if you could improve your habits, be sure to speak with a dentist for help. Distinctive Dental Solutions helps our patients learn about dental hygiene and how they can improve theirs. 

How Does Poor Dental Health Cause Weight Gain?

If you’ve gained weight, your dental health may be to blame. While your oral health may not be the first thing that comes to mind while finding a cause for your weight gain, it does play an influential role. Those who brush and floss regularly tend to have an easier time managing their weight, as well as keeping the pounds off. 

There are many reasons this may be the case: 

  • Dietary Changes. Mouth pain can easily cause a person to change his or her diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables can be unappealing since they often trigger more pain as you try to chew them. As a result, you’ll fill up on softer processed food that’s loaded with sugar, salt and fat. 
  • Exercise Avoidance. Chronic oral infections such as gum disease can compromise your energy. It’s the same as if you had a cold or flu: your immune system is busy fighting off an infection, so you don’t have much energy. Over time, low energy can lead to decreased physical activity, causing weight gain.   
  • Inflammation. As your immune system reacts to disease in your gums and teeth, inflammation increases, affecting the way your body manages energy. Inflammation is known to impact how your body processes leptin, a fat that sends signals to your brain when you’re full. You might overeat and be too tired for exercise as a result. 

There’s also a connection between oral health and “leaky gut,” a condition in which bacteria from the intestines enters the bloodstream. One of the most common causes, however, is sleep apnea, a condition when the tissues in the throat relax during sleep and block airways. Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable using special oral appliances and other measures, which makes visiting a dentist essential. 

How a Dentist Can Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight

Since there are several oral health issues tied to weight gain, visiting a dentist regularly can actually help you keep the pounds off. While this may sound surprising, preventing dental problems before they ever occur lets you avoid many of the associated complications that can cause your body to process fat and energy improperly. As a result, you’ll have an easier time managing your weight and making lifestyle choices that promote better overall health. 

Speak to a Dentist Today

Maintaining a healthy weight involves caring for all aspects of your health, and your teeth are no exception. Our dentists can help you take better care of your teeth and address any potential issues you may have. Schedule an appointment today to begin!

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