If you are following a low-calorie diet, you will need to visit your dentist's office on a regular basis for check-ups and cleanings. While physicians and dentists recommend that people only follow low-calorie diets under the supervision of their doctors, many people do not follow these recommendations. In addition to raising the risk for weakness, fatigue, headaches, and hair loss, consuming too few calories on a daily basis can lead to problems with your teeth and gums. If you are following a low-calorie diet, you may be at risk for the following oral problems.
Most low-calorie diets do not provide you with the recommended daily allowances for vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Adequate amounts of these nutrients are essential for healthy gums, and if you are deficient in them, you may develop bleeding gums. During your dental examination and teeth cleaning procedure probing instruments are used, and if you are deficient in iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients, your gums may bleed profusely upon the slightest provocation.
Severe vitamin C deficiencies caused by low-calorie diets can raise your risk for a condition known as scurvy. In addition to bleeding gums, scurvy can also raise your risk for infections after extractions or other dental work, and it may also increase your risk for periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Another oral problem that may be associated with a low-calorie diet is the development of petechiae, which refers to small, pinpoint red or purple dots. The dots may appear on the lining of your cheeks, on the inside of your lips, the floor of your mouth, your throat, and on your gums. They can be caused by low levels of iron caused by dieting, and in some cases, petechiae can be related to low levels of vitamin C and other nutrients.
If your dentist notices small discolored dots in your oral cavity, he or she may ask you about your diet. After your dentist learns that you are on a low-calorie diet, he or she may recommend that you take an over-the-counter multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Not only will this help prevent fatigue and hair loss associated with dieting, but will also help improve your oral health.
If you are following a low-calorie diet to manage your weight and develop bleeding gums or petechiae, see your dentist on a regular basis. In addition to getting regular dental check-ups, see your family physician regularly while you are dieting so that he or she can monitor your health status during your weight loss journey.
To learn more information, reach out to a family dentist near you.