Now more than ever, we’re faced with an alarming rate of dental disease, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The not-so-surprising link? The modern diet. Dental disease like cavities, crooked teeth, and wisdom teeth problems have been around only since the Industrial Revolution, when manufactured food made huge changes to our diet. Since then, our health has declined.
In many ways, so much of today's food isn't even really food. Decades ago, food was fresh and healthy. Today, the majority of the foods served—whether at home, in school, or in restaurants—are highly processed and filled with sugars, harmful fats, and chemical additives. They may be cheap for your pocketbook, but these foods can cost you when it comes to your long-term health.
The Industrial Revolution was the shifting point: Food no longer needed to be carefully found, grown, and nurtured. Instead, it became readily available at a low cost. It was packaged, mass-manufactured, and lacking many of the nutrients our bodies need to flourish. As a result, we’ve become less cognizant of how food existed in nature and how our bodies are meant to process it. At the same time, obesity rates have skyrocketed, and hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, dementia, and depression have become our norm.
The effects have also been quite noticeable in our mouths, which function as a gatekeeper to the health of the body. Like our guts, the microbiome of the mouth did not develop to handle the diets we consume today. As I highlight in The Dental Diet, a book designed to help you look at dental health holistically, the resulting imbalance leads to bad breath, crooked teeth, jaw problems, and subsequent problems throughout the body.