Dental health a window to your diet, dentist says - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Dental health a window to your diet, dentist says

You are what you eat, especially where your smile is concerned. (Source: WAFF file) You are what you eat, especially where your smile is concerned. (Source: WAFF file)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Take a walk through the produce section of any grocery store, and you will see a road map to better dental health.

Dentist Josh Drake says there are some symptoms shown by people with poor dental health.

"You can definitely tell when a patient is not eating the best kind of diet," he said. "Things like odor from their breath, obviously. Hair, skin... all those things are telltale signs of the diets patients are eating."

Drake admits he's a bit of a health enthusiast when it comes to diet and the health of your teeth.   

"The mouth is the doorway to the body. And so anything that is not good for your dental health is not good for your overall health, and vice versa."

Sugar, he says, is the main culprit.

"Typically the problem we see is excessive sugar intake, especially in the South, we see a lot of sodas, a lot of sweet tea, a lot of Gatorade. Even things like fruit juice. People have this misconception that it's healthy, but it's actually not. It's just a sugary drink," he said.

It's that over consumption of carbs and sugar that can lead you to the dentist's office. And Drake says water plays a big part in your dental health.

"Overall I would say the majority of the population was dehydrated," he said. "If you ever feel thirsty, you're well beyond dehydrated."   

A combined problem - not enough water, not enough fresh vegetables, and too much junk.

"I would say increasing vegetable intake, decreasing sugar intake are going to be your two biggest changes that could show the biggest benefit," he advised.

They are two simple steps with a benefit that can mean a great smile. 

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