Dentists are already seeing a rise in signs of tooth decay
According to recent surveys and lifestyle reports, more and more people are turning vegan. Not just vegetarian, but an increasing number are now following a strict vegan diet that eliminates all types of meat products entirely, including foods that contain animal by-products such as milk, cheese, yoghurts and confectionery etc. Some experts say that this latest trend is nothing more than a passing fad and that many of today’s vegan dieters will eventually return to a wider and more comprehensive diet. That may be so, or maybe not, but the simple fact is that dentists across the country, including here at Carisbrook we might add, are already witnessing the effects of a strict vegan diet by seeing a significant rise in the number of patients showing early signs of tooth decay.
The main problem of adhering to a rigid vegan diet according to leading dentists is that by cutting out certain foods, including animal and fish ingredients, the vegan diet can result in a severe lack of protein and calcium. These are two crucial dietary essentials that are vital for keeping teeth healthy. One eminent dentist has warned that many vegans may also be consuming more sweet and starchy foods such as fruits and grains. As well as the well-known detrimental effects of both natural sugars and synthetic sweeteners that are a leading cause of tooth decay, these may also cause bacteria in plaque to produce levels of acids that can significantly harm tooth enamel leading to early signs of tooth decay.
A leading London cosmetic dentist has stated, “Because veganism has sky-rocked we are now seeing more patients with signs of tooth decay such as erosion and cavities.” The London dentist also said that these increased signs of tooth decay are not just down to the lack of vitamins that are available in a more balanced diet, but also because of the food swops that the vegans are making.
Maybe not to the same extent, but at Carisbrook we have been aware of an increase in the number of mainly adult patients now showing signs of tooth decay.
Veganism is, of course, a personal lifestyle choice, but if patients do ask us for dental hygiene advice we will always emphasise the need to adopt a well-balanced diet, to restrict the level of sweet, sugary foods and to avoid sweet, fizzy drinks that are seriously bad for your teeth. We also recommend regular teeth cleaning by using fluoride toothpaste twice a day – as soon as you get up in a morning and again as the last thing at night.
Our other advice is that you should also make regular check-up appointments with your dentist so that they can keep a watchful eye on the condition of your teeth and examine them for signs of tooth decay. Your dentist can also provide the appropriate treatment to correct the problem before it develops into something more serious.
If you would like advice on diet or on dental hygiene, or to arrange an expert dental check-up then please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 0161 951 7295 or alternatively you can contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.