It’s interesting how much money and effort people today must spend for the health of their teeth, a stark contrast to folks from over a million years ago, all of whom paid no attention to their teeth but kept them until the day they died (as fossil records show). There were no mint-flavored floss, baking soda toothpaste, or cavity-fighting fluoride. And no dentist with the square-pocket white shirt and bad humor. But neither was there refined and starchy carbohydrates.
Perhaps it’s by no coincidence that science has recently shaped a theory to link dental disease and carbohydrates, as well as periodontal disease and systemic diseases that include diabetes and heart disease. Since high glycemic carbohydrates have been linked to mental impairment, it may be the reason that tooth loss is also linked to mental impairment. Although no conclusion has been made for what caused what, the association between carbohydrates, dental disease, systemic disease, and mental impairment should be enough to reconsider eating grain-based, starchy, fermentable carbohydrates.
Although I still floss and brush my teeth daily, it’s not so much an effort to prevent tooth decay and gum disease as it is to fit in socially. Perhaps my neighbor, who himself has been complaining about the rising cost of healthcare and his lack of dental insurance, might want to drop the bagel from his breakfast and the cereal from his midnight snack. Social or not, tooth ache and gum disease are never fun.
It can’t hurt to eat more fresh, fibrous vegetables — and possibly enjoy your teeth for the rest of your life.