Dental Health on a Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarianism is becoming an increasingly popular choice. Vegetarians can enjoy a healthy diet free of animal products, but they do need to plan their diets carefully to ensure they are getting enough nutrients to maintain their tooth and gum health.
A recent study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” revealed that vegetarians are considerably more likely to experience tooth decay. Although their diets may be generally healthier than those who eat meat and other animal products, they are more likely to be more susceptible to degenerative dental problems. This may be linked to the fact that vegetarians often eat more grains and natural sugars than non-vegetarians. Vegetarians may also struggle with inadequate dietary fat levels, which means they may have poor levels of certain fat-soluble nutrients.
You do not have to begin to eat meat or other animal products in order to enjoy better dental health. Eating a diet low in animal proteins and fats can improve your overall health, and while most adults who enjoy a vegetarian diet balance their meals carefully, children and teens may need some help.
Focus on calcium, riboflavin, complete proteins and vitamins D and B12, a lack of which may increase your risk of suffering from periodontal disease and tooth decay. Look for fortified soy or almond milks and fortified juices, and enjoy a diet rich in legumes, whole grains and fresh produce.