The Paleo Diet and How it Impacts your Teeth

Is the Paleo diet good or bad for your teeth? We’re you’re North Tivoli Dentists and are here to give you the answer!

When it comes to diet trends, Paleo is quickly climbing the list. And like any diet, there are positives and negatives to both.

When weighing-up diets, your dental health is probably not something that you would normally put into the equation. As dentists, we feel it should, your dental health is part of your health after all.

So, is the Paleo diet good or bad for your teeth? We’re here to give you the answer.

What is the Paleo Diet?

Firstly, if you’re not up to speed with Paleo, here’s what you need to know:

The Paleo diet aims to match what we believe mankind used to eat before the science of agriculture came about. So, basically, the Paleo diet consists of anything that would have been ‘hunter-gathered’, predominantly whole-food and plant based.

Foods such as:

·       Lean meats

·       Seafood

·       Fresh fruit

·       Nuts

·       Seeds

·       Eggs

·       Non-starchy vegetables

·       Olive oil

You won’t see people on the Paleo diet eating grains, potatoes, dairy, high-fat meat, sugar or processed foods.

What does diet have to do with your teeth?

What does this have to do with your teeth? We’re glad you asked.

Our modern diets and poor eating habits are what create many of our teeth and gum disease problems. Why? Because the bacteria in our mouth feed off sugar and starchy food. Sugar in particular, creates acids and this acid erodes the enamel of our teeth, which then leads to cavities.

So, this takes us to the all-important question:

Is the Paleo diet good for your teeth?

Yes. Because the Paleo diet cuts out starchy foods and sugar, which leads to less acids and less enamel erosion leading ultimately to less cavities.

In fact, examination of old European hunter-gatherer dental samples, show significantly fewer signs of cavities and periodontal disease than we have now.

Are there any negative impacts on your teeth?

Whilst the Paleo diet is good for your teeth, there are some things to still be mindful of (you may even want to bring them up with your dentist).

These are:

  • Sticky teeth

As the Paleo diet avoids grains, you’re likely to consume a high number of fresh and dried fruit for energy. Whilst this isn’t terrible, fruit is high in natural sugar and tends to stick to your teeth.

You’ll likely need to floss and brush your teeth more frequently.

  • No Dairy

You probably didn’t know that dairy products assist in the natural process of re-mineralization. Without diary in your diet, your teeth’s capacity to repair themselves is diminished

  •  Lack of vitamins

When you cut a few food groups from your diet, it’s not uncommon to cut out a few important vitamins along with them - Vitamin D, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron for example. These vitamins are essential for healthy teeth and bones and needs to be supplemented accordingly (with the help of a professional).

So, there you have it. The Paleo diet can impact your teeth and overall dental health in a positive way. With that being said, there are still some important things to consider before jumping on the Paleo bandwagon.  

Speak to a professional dentist to find out more about how the Paleo diet, or any diet for that matter, could be impacting your teeth and oral health. At Karana Downs Dental, we have many years of experience in dental health. As dentists near North Tivoli, we’re here to help. Contact us today.