DENTAL DILEMMAS – Dr Karim Rachidi from Synergy Dental Clinics helps with advice on dental problems

Q. I’ve started getting into the habit of snacking late at night when I struggle to sleep. How badly does it affect your dental health?

A. Snacking late at night damages your overall health and increases your weight, insulin levels and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it can lead to problems with your teeth, too – such as tooth loss and tooth decay.

Ultimately, in order to put an end to this habit, it’s important to figure out what the causes are. Is there a specific trigger that leads to this? Do you usually do it alone or with other people? What snacks do you turn to? When do you have these snacks, where and why?

Because the body is less active during the night, it means the organs that usually work at high capacity to process the energy from food during the day slow down, too. This means that the food we eat at night not only lingers around in our mouth, but it stays for longer in our bodies.

When you normally eat throughout the day, saliva from your mouth gets rid of any excess food particles. This then reduces the acidity levels within your mouth back to a healthy level.

However, at night we don’t have as much saliva in our mouths, so regardless of what you eat, the bacteria is given an environment where it can grow. This can then lead to tooth decay, which can lead to gum disease, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

If you have the urge to snack, try to choose options that are healthy for your teeth as well as your body. Some great options ae vegetables such as carrots, celery and cucumber as well as nuts, berries and even cheese. Ensure that you drink loads of water, too, with keeps your mouth well hydrated. Regularly visit your dentist and doctor, too, in order to ensure there are no unexpected health concerns!

For more information about dental issues, contact Synergy Dental Clinics Blackburn, email or go to