Have you ever even considered that your vegan diet may be negatively affecting your teeth? A large number of people who are considering switching to a vegan diet are concerned about how this type of diet can affect their oral health.
The vegan diet is plant-based and this means that it eliminates certain food groups such as dairy and protein. As you may know, these two groups are huge contributors of vitamins necessary for the health of our teeth.
Let’s see if there are some truly negative effects of a vegan diet on our teeth.
Dental problems that are caused by the vegan diet
It’s not a secret that vegans eat a lot of fruits and grains. The problem with both fruits and grains is that both of these are high in natural sugars and unfortunately this sugar can cause damage to our teeth.
You may wonder how can fruit sugar affects your teeth. Well, the bacteria in your mouth love sugar and thus it thrives on it –that some bacteria are responsible for causing tooth decay.
We all eat fruit, but vegans eat a lot more fruit and even consider it a healthy snack option and they tend to eat it more than non-vegans. This is what makes them at risk of getting tooth decay.
A way to deal with this is by adding foods to your diet that doesn’t contain so much natural sugar. It’s ok to eat fruit and grains just be careful how much you eat it.
Acidic fruits and foods while being great sources of vitamin C, potassium, folate and so on can cause dental problems as well.
The most frequent problem caused by citrus fruits is dental erosion. As you can imagine the main culprits for this are the citric and phosphoric acid which wears away your tooth enamel. Fruits, fruit beverages, especially beverages can cause these problems.
Thankfully, good oral hygiene can deal with the negative effects of acidic foods.
Dairy products are huge sources of calcium and calcium is very important for the health of our teeth, bones, and gums. Unfortunately, vegans don’t eat dairy. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have other ways to supplement their diet with other sources of calcium.
Foods that contain calcium and that can be consumed by the vegans are almonds, beans, leafy greens, and even vegan kinds of milk – soy, almond, rice to name a few.
Plant-based food can stain your teeth
Apart from coffee and dark teas, some leafy greens and vegetables can stain your teeth as well. Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, and even root vegetables can all cause stains on your teeth The dark colors, high levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin A cause teeth to become porous and thus more open to discoloration.
You can consult experts at Pindan Dental Laboratory who can help you get rid of these stains and they can also instruct you on how to avoid getting them in the first place.
Lack of iron
A plant-based diet often lacks appropriate amounts of iron. Because of this vegans tend to have problems with the tongue, discoloration of the gums and sores in the mouth.
Iron deficiency can cause a lot of serious problems and it’s very important to find a way to supplement your diet with foods that are a good source of iron. Such foods include nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, legumes, and grains.
Lack of vitamin B12
The lack of vitamin B12 can cause a lot of health problems and this includes our teeth as well. Vegans don’t get enough of this vitamin because they don’t eat animal products such as meat, dairy and so on.
The most frequent problems that vegans encounter due to vitamin B12 deficiency when it comes to dental health are gum disease and tooth loss. Fortunately, there are sources of vitamin B12 that are adequate for vegans and they include spinach, pasta, almonds, cereals to name a few.
Too much snacking
Who would have said that there is such a thing as too much snacking? There is, and vegans tend to snack quite frequently to provide enough energy for their bodies.
The downside of frequent snacking is that you create an ideal environment in your mouth for bacteria to thrive in and later that same bacteria attacks your tooth enamel causing it damage.
Logically, you can avoid this by snacking less and by maintaining good oral hygiene.
It’s not a secret that vegans tend to have more dental problems due to the lack of certain food groups or vitamins. Thankfully, there are alternatives and ways to get all the necessary vitamins, just like there are ways to fight dental problems caused by the foods that we eat.