Comfort Eating – Risks To Our Teeth In The Colder, Wetter Months

Rain and winds can make us feel in need of a lift. Be careful this doesn’t affect your teeth!

Mixed group with good smilesEven if it is not raining when you read this, it is almost certain that you will have seen your fair share of rain this week.

The longer dark nights and cold weather can be a challenge for many of us, especially when they seem to have gone on for so long. At times like this, we may be tempted to look for things that will cheer us up and one of these is likely to be food.

Comfort eating is a well known phenomenon and many of us will have succumbed to this at various times in our life. Sometimes this might be after a bad day at work and may mean that we comfort eat just for one day.  This only really becomes a significant problem though when we do this regularly. Dark and cold days and nights are such times and we need to take care that we don’t succumb.

What do we mean by comfort eating?

This seems to be an instinctive thing and some say it is when we eat what we enjoy. This may be partially true, but even lovers of healthy foods, such as salads, are likely to turn to food like chocolate that is high in both sugar and fats. Whilst this may not be overly problematic as a one off; where we eat like this for a period of time, not only are we likely to start to gain weight, but our teeth will start to suffer too.

At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we have seen the results of patients eating far too much sugar many times, and the result of doing this is not good. The sugars in these foods, consumed over a period of time, will almost certainly lead to tooth decay and also, quite possibly, gum disease.

We can, to some degree, slow down this process if we brush and floss our teeth well, but even then, over time, some sugars and “bad” bacteria will remain and damage the tooth enamel. When this happens tooth decay is usually not far behind.

We can of course, often restore a tooth damaged in this manner, perhaps using a dental filling, porcelain crown or other advanced technique. This is not always the case though, especially when damage is extensive and this may mean that the tooth has to be extracted.

Safe comfort foods

Chocolate and cakes may be the ‘go to’ when you crave comfort food, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Savoury stews or hearty soups are good alternatives and are very satisfying. If you must have cake, why not make some simple cakes yourself? That way you can monitor your sugar intake better.

It will be a long time before we are all happy to eat summer salads again, but in the meantime, please take care that what put in your mouth doesn’t cause harm to your teeth!

Your oral health is just as important in the cold winter months as it is in summer when you are probably out and about more. To help make sure that you keep your teeth and gums healthy, please make sure to see one of our Surbiton dentists every six months for a check up. Appointments can be made by calling the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291. Our team is on hand and looks forward to welcoming you!