Night Eating And Tooth Decay

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional midnight snack, but more and more studies are showing that making late night eating a regular thing can not only threaten your weight, but your oral health. If you’re someone who eats a quarter of more of your calories after dinner than you could be at an increased risk for oral complications like periodontal disease, tooth loss and decay.

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A Danish medical study procured a large group of participants, only 8% of whom were nocturnal eaters, and monitored them over the course of six years. At the end of the study participants were examined by an oral health specialist. The results of the study showed that, even with other factors that influence oral health factored in (e.g. smoking, dental habits, diabetes, other health conditions), night eaters had considerably poorer dental health than other participants. Notably, night eaters had lost more teeth than the others. This is because your mouth produces considerably less saliva at night and when you sleep. This reduction of saliva keeps your mouth from being able to wash away debris and throws off the very sensitive pH of your mouth.

Night Eating Solutions

Night eating, depending on the severity of it, is a real issue that can affect the sufferer in many ways. Often night eaters get less restful sleep, and suffer from unhealthy weight gains. While night eating should be treated with the help of a sleep specialist, there are some simple ways you can protect your teeth if you’re struggling with this habit:

  • Be extra vigilant in maintaining good dental hygiene. Brush twice a day, floss and visit your dentist regularly.

  • Let your dentist know about your night eating and be open to any advice they may have to offer you.

  • So long as you are eating at night, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after doing so. This can help to wash away debris.

Call Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental if you’re seeking a little more insight into protecting your teeth!