Tooth Loss Directly Linked to Nighttime Eating Activity

by Jason 12/24/2013 8:00 AM

Late-night eating is not just a bad habit; it is an invitation for tooth loss. The main culprit is the lower flow of saliva during the night. Saliva is responsible for rinsing away food debris that cling to our teeth and neutralizing the enamel-destroying acids, which are formed by the bacteria in the mouth. With less saliva present, fungus and bacteria begin to develop in the mouth and initiate the decaying process. This concept is supported by the findings of Professor Damien Walmsley, a consultant with the British Dental Association.

Danish researchers also found evidence of late-night, snacking-related tooth loss after evaluating the oral health of a sample representation of 2,217 men and women, based on their eating habits and general health (These studies were conducted in association with the World Health Organization during 1987/88 and 1993/94).

Around 8 percent of the respondents had late-night eating habits, involving various types of food. The evidence suggested that these late-night eaters suffered more tooth loss than the other respondents, while other factors like blood pressure, sugar, carbohydrate intake and smoking status remained the same for all. 

If you must partake in late-night eating, remember to brush and floss before going to bed. No snacking after brush time. Also, drink plenty of water leading up to your final brushing to help rinse away any lingering food particles.

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