London: Eating snacks in the middle of the night can increase the risk of tooth loss, regardless of the type of food that is eaten, experts have warned.
The team at Copenhagen University, which worked with colleagues from the US, blamed changes in saliva flow, as it tends to dry up at night.
To reach the conclusion, boffins examined the medical records of 2,217 Danes already enrolled in a medical study, reports The BBC.
"Practitioners should be aware of the oral health implications of nocturnal eating, increase screening and oral health education efforts among nocturnal eaters and make treatment referrals when appropriate," they said.
Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, said: "Eating at night, when the mouth is driest and any food remains in the mouth longer, accentuates the impact of consuming sugary and acidic food and drinks.
"To minimise damage, it is important to brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, with one of those brushes coming immediately before bedtime.
"Where possible, consume only water for at least an hour before the final brush of the day."