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Foods for Healthier Gums and Teeth

There is a strong connection between an individual’s diet and the health of their teeth. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, nutrition is a vital factor in improving oral health and can help prevent a variety of chronic diseases.

While regular visits to your local Dallas dentist are paramount, what you eat can also have a major impact on the health and cleanliness of your pearly whites.

 

How Diet Can Affect Gums

The CDC reports that 47.2% of adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. A primary catalyst for many periodontal conditions is calcified dental plaque, which may cause the gums to retract and create pockets between them and the teeth. The formation of dental plaque can be a consequence of poor dental hygiene, a diet rich in sugars or starch, and insufficient vitamins and minerals.

 

The Best Foods for Your Gum Health

There are several nutrients that should be present in a diet for proper dental health:

  •    Calcium
  •    Protein
  •    Zinc
  •    Antioxidants
  •    Phosphorus
  •    Iron
  •    Vitamins (A, C, D, B vitamins)
  •    Omega-3 fats

Nutrition consisting of whole foods and fresh vegetables is key to maintaining healthy gums. Processed food, high levels of sugar, and carbonated beverages are best avoided.

What to avoid:

  •    Foods containing high levels of sugar. It is recommended to check the added sugar levels of each product purchased before consumption.
  •    Sweet drinks, even those with natural sugars
  •    Excessive snacking
  •    Dried fruit, as they have extra sugars and can leave residue on the teeth

Additional recommended foods:

  1. Cranberries, as well as other fruits and vegetables that are rich in anthocyanins can improve dental health (like blueberries, red cabbage, black rice).
  2. Green tea can reduce the level of bacteria in the mouth.
  3. Unsweetened dairy products as they can contain casein, a substance that can help neutralize oral acids produced by bacteria.
  4. Crunchy foods, such as carrots or apples can be very effective in scraping any residue left on the teeth after eating. They can also help the mouth produce more saliva which helps flush bacteria from the gums.

 

Dental Hygiene Is Key

While a proper diet can prevent dental health complications and, in some less severe cases, can improve an individual’s oral health, it is not the only influencing factor.

Proper dental hygiene shouldn’t be overlooked. A diet consisting of the right nutrients must be followed by brushing, flossing, and visits to your Dallas dentist’s office at least twice a year to maintain a healthy smile.

 

Sources
https://www.precisionnutrition.com/nutrition-teeth-dental-health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23601893
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037517/
https://www.dhsv.org.au/dental-health/teeth-tips-and-facts/food-and-drink
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272860/
http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/public_health_nut7.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/periodontal_disease/index.htm
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14721/1/Causes-of-Excessive-Plaque.html
https://www.123dentist.com/want-healthier-gums-eat-more-of-these-foods/

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