Gingivitis and Dieting
At the Center for Beautiful Smiles, we are aware that it has become increasingly harder to avoid sugar. Food companies put the sweet, addictive substance in almost everything because it tastes good. Unfortunately, this does not bode well for the people who consume it. Once the body takes in sugar, it converts into acid which attacks the teeth and gums. The acid will create pockets in between the teeth and gums which are areas that can foster bacteria. This process can lead to Gingivitis, or tooth decay, as well as heart disease. The body is an ecosystem where issues in one area can cause problems in another.
Many foods with high amounts of sugar can lead to tooth decay. Be sure to check the nutrition labels on foods before you purchase them. Juices, Carbonated drinks, and other beverages with added sugar are often the biggest culprits in tooth decay. The acidity in them is higher than many other foods and contain excessive amounts of sugar. Additionally, wine, pickles, and honey contribute to dental health that is poor and should be consumed sparingly. Foods that stick to your teeth for longer such as caramel and cough drops can harm the teeth just as bad as drinks with high sugar. All the above foods and drinks can attack your teeth for up to twenty minutes after you eat them.
Now that we know of the dangers posed by foods with sugar and gingivitis, how can the disease be addressed? In previous blog posts, we have addressed the importance of good nutrition in previous blog entries, but this one will explore the area of nutrition and dieting in more detail.
As mentioned above, the biggest impact on dental hygiene are beverages with high sugar content. Alternatives to sodas and juices are water and plain milk. Both have virtually no sugar to attack your teeth and milk contains calcium and Vitamin D. These nutrients can strengthen your teeth’s enamel. The same nutrients found in milk and perform the same function of rebuilding your enamel exists in cheese and yogurt.
Other foods to include in a dental-friendly diet are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. All of these foods contain fiber which dentists consider a “natural toothbrush.” Notably, dark leafy greens contain vitamin B9 and fiber. Vitamin B9, in addition to dental health, medical professionals have found a multitude of benefits from dark leafy greens linked to decreased risks of heart disease, strokes, cancer, and psychological health.
Another tactic to protect your teeth is eating sugary foods and drinks with your meals that consist of the healthy foods. This way, the amount of saliva produced in your mouth will capture the harmful acid and bacteria made by the sugar.
If you are interested in learning more about dental hygiene, be sure to schedule an appointment with the Center for Beautiful Smiles. While seeing a dentist every six months is recommended, eating well is just as important in order to maintain your teeth.