Yet Another Reason To Skip The Midnight Snacks

by Susan Krivelow

I admit it. I'm sometimes a victim of the midnight munchies.. I always worry about my weight and heart health, but now I've got one more thing to obsess over. If I don't stop snacking, I may end up toothless!


A new study says eating at night may lead to more missing teeth later in life.

Night eaters had almost four more missing teeth than non-night eaters even when controlling for factors like age, education, diabetes, body mass and binge eating. And gender made no difference.

"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," said researcher Jennifer Lundgren, a psychologist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Past studies have estimated that between 9 percent and 12 percent of U.S. adolescents and adults consume food after 11 p.m.

"It is unclear whether better oral hygiene alone can reduce risk of poor oral health, although it is probably a good start," Lundgren told LiveScience. "Persons who frequently engage in night eating (and who may be diagnosed with night-eating syndrome) can seek treatment."

The study is published in the journal Eating Behaviors.

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