Most Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, keeping them is another thing entirely. The truth is that many people don’t keep their resolutions even a week, and by the end of January, most people have given up.
If you are making resolutions this year, perhaps you need a little more incentive to keep them. Let us help: many of the most common resolutions also offer benefits for your teeth. While you might not make these resolutions for your smile, perhaps thinking of your smile can help you keep them.
Losing Weight Can Mean Keeping Your Teeth
One of America’s most common New Year’s resolutions is losing weight. This is, of course, great for your health, your appearance, and your self-esteem. However, it can also be beneficial for your teeth too. That’s because obesity is linked to gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
The association between obesity and gum disease seems strong. People who are overweight or obese have higher rates of gum disease than those who are a healthy weight. The reason is unclear, but there are two leading theories.
First, the link might be mediated by diabetes. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, and diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease. That’s in part because diabetes can increase the sugar in your saliva, which feeds oral bacteria.
The other link is inflammation. Fat cells release inflammatory triggers, which lead to systemic inflammation—swelling, and other immune system responses throughout the body. Gum disease is partly an infection and partly the body’s energetic inflammatory response to the infection, which can damage your gums and bones, leading to tooth loss. More significant inflammation from fat could worsen this effect.
So, losing weight is a great way to reduce your risk of gum disease, and help you keep your teeth for life.