Say no to midnight munching to keep your teeth

A new study to be published in the August edition of the journal 
Eating Behaviors has found that eating late at night increases the risk of tooth loss years later.

The researchers reviewed a Danish study comprised of two surveys that took place during 1987-8 where 2,436 participants were asked, "Do you get up to eat at night?" with a follow-up survey in 1993-4 that noted each participant's teeth lost.

The results showed that those who suffer from night-eating syndrome (NES), a new eating disorder associated with late-night binging because of insomnia and low-to-no hunger in the morning, or those that partake in late-night munching and don't brush after are four times more likely to lose their teeth.  

Jennifer Lundgren, a psychologist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, explained to LiveScience, a science news site, "We hypothesize that consuming foods in the middle of the night, not brushing [or] flossing one's teeth after nocturnal ingestions, and reduced salivary flow during the night increase the risk of tooth loss in this sample."

The study was controlled for age, education, smoking status, body mass, carbohydrate intake, binge eating behavior, and diabetes diagnosis; however lower education levels were also linked to greater tooth loss.

If you are a midnight muncher or insomniac that turns to food, you may want to try eating more balanced meals during the day (starting with breakfast), drink plenty of water, avoid media that might stimulate your hunger with ads, keep temptations out of the house, try going to sleep early and find distracting relaxing activities (bath, reading). The most common tip is to brush your teeth.

Abstract, "Nocturnal eating predicts tooth loss among adults: Results from the Danish MONICA study": http://bit.ly/btmfkQ

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