Believe it or not, the food that you eat can have a profound effect on the health of your teeth and gums. Consuming too many carbohydrates and sugars like cookies, candy, cakes, sodas, potato chips, and pretzels can ultimately cause tooth decay. The length of time that carbohydrates remain on your teeth is the primary culprit for tooth decay.
Fortunately, you can slow down the progression or reverse gum disease during its early stages. Routine brushing and flossing can keep your teeth and gums in good health. While these powerful tools are an asset in fighting oral bacteria, you can always benefit from additional reinforcement. In addition to minimizing sugary and harsh acidic snacks, many foods are good for your teeth and gums.
It takes a little bit of time to eat an apple, but that’s a good thing. Apples are commonly referred to as a dental detergent; this water-rich fruit increases the production of saliva, which ultimately minimizes oral bacteria. As a high fiber food, it also has a scrubbing effect on the teeth. It cleans the exterior portion of the teeth while eating. Chewing an apple also disturbs and dislodges newly formed plaque. The next time you visit the grocery store, you may want to stock up on apples.
Because of their role in neutralizing bacteria, onions have a history of contributing to oral health. The microbial properties in onions target the most common forms of bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Therefore, you may want to start incorporating onions in your meals. You can try placing them on top of a salad or burger. You can also mix them in stews and soups.
Raw onion slivers are particularly tasty in a sandwich. The ideal way of eating the onion is to have it raw. It creates a powerful bacterium fighting environment due to its antimicrobial containing compounds. If you’re one of those people who cannot tolerate raw onions, cook the onions. You may not receive as many nutrients as you would with a raw onion, but you should receive some.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale have a lot of vitamins and minerals that are healthy for the mouth. They consist of vitamin C that increases the production of red blood cells while reducing inflammation. Both of these benefits help with gum disease and irritation. Leafy greens often require more chewing than some other high-fiber foods. As with apples, the chewing increases saliva, which ultimately flushes out some the bacteria, plaque, and food particles.
Not to mention, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are high in antioxidants. They also contain many other nutrients that can play a role in dental health. These nutrients include but are not limited to calcium and vitamin K2. You may not be aware of this, but you can receive a substantial amount of calcium from a standard plant-based diet without consuming any dairy products. Calcium is a very critical nutrient for dental health. Vitamin K2 helps to keep the calcium in your teeth and bones to prevent calcification within the arteries.
Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
Oily fish like herring, mackerel, and salmon are also packed with essential nutrients. They offer a high amount of omega-3’s. Because of their oil content, they provide anti-inflammatory effects that benefit the immune system.
Walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t create omega-3 on its own, so we have to get it from an external source. Because of this, it’s essential to get it from the diet. Essential fatty acids play a crucial role in strengthening the mucosal cells.
Mushrooms are widely known for their vitamin D content. When mushrooms are in the sun, they possess a unique ability to create their own vitamin D. Having a vitamin D deficiency also results in calcium deficiency. Therefore, it’s essential to go outside every day and get some sun. More importantly, spending at least 20 minutes outside each day can have a profound effect on your overall physical and mental health.
Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source for lentinan. Lentinan is a polysaccharide that’s only found in certain mushrooms. In attacks many strands of bacteria that cause gum disease, while leaving the good bacteria alone. Shiitake mushrooms have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Green and red bell peppers are a great addition to any meal. Red and green bell peppers are high in vitamin C. This is a staple for a gum-disease fighting diet. A couple of red bell peppers has over 300% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, while green bell peppers have a little over 200%. The vitamin C content in both peppers is more than that of an orange. If you’re looking for an easy solution to boost your vitamin C levels, bell peppers are a good option.
Garlic is a flavorful component to any meal. It’s been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for a variety of different health issues, including oral health. Garlic is famous for its antibacterial properties. It can substantially decrease bad bacteria in the mouth that often result in bad breath and tooth decay. Allicin is a marvelous nutrient that’s giving garlic its power.
Research has shown that it aids against the imbalance of oral flora by attacking the harmful bacteria that contributes to many dental diseases. Garlic also has antiviral and antifungal properties that assist in the promotion of healthy gums and teeth. Not to mention, it’s a source for prebiotic fiber, which helps with digestion.
The best weapon for battling gum disease is knowing how it works and strategies to prevent it. Now that you are aware of what foods help in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, you’re on a path to better oral health. With the proper nutrition and diet, you can minimize or even reverse many dental problems. Whether you’re seeking to prevent gum disease or fight it, the advice mentioned in this article is helpful. Contact Country Dentist Sunshine Coast to learn more about preventing gum disease and strategies you can take for better oral health.