Diet and nutrition are significant influencers of our oral health. Diet can affect the development and progression of oral diseases and conditions such as caries, periodontal disease, erosion and others. While nutrition can be defined as the micro (vitamins and minerals) and macro (carbohydrates, protein and fat), as they relate to the body’s dietary needs, diet refers to the specific foods consumed. The relationship that diet and nutrition have with oral health is bidirectional. Poorly maintained mouths, decayed, broken or missing teeth can also influence an individual’s functional ability to eat.
Hectic lifestyles, fast food, fad diets, large amounts of sugar and trendy supplements can have health repercussions. A poor diet can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in sugars and starches increase the production of acids that can erode and weaken the tooth’s outer layer (enamel). Eventually, these acids can cause tooth decay. Lack of proper nutrition can lead to other diseases and conditions in the body such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and some cancers, including oral cancer.
As evidenced by widely known research, the least beneficial kinds of food for the teeth are: foods with high sugar content, carbonated drinks, citrus-based foods (like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits) and starchy foods and vegetables (such as potatoes, beans and corn).
However, we don’t have to eliminate these foods altogether. Instead, try consuming foods from this list sparsely and switching to better options whenever possible.
In order to select foods that encourage great dental health, try starting with diverse meals from other food groups—such as vegetables, lower sugar-containing fruit, dairy, grains and different kinds of meat. Each of these groups give minerals and nutrients that serve to nourish the body and generate healthier teeth. If unsure how to stick with a clean diet, contact a general practitioner or a skilled nutritionist. They may produce a diet plan that suits an individual’s lifestyle needs.
Eating low sugar containing fruit and vegetables stimulates saliva that washes away harmful bacteria and buildup. Start with dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach. These veggies contain calcium and vitamin C that serve to fight gum disease and safeguard enamel.
Another way to enhance our oral health is to alter what we drink. Water rinses out the mouth, decreasing acid and food particles between the teeth. Additionally, water minimizes any bacteria in the mouth that may erode teeth.
The team at E Dental Solutions works tirelessly to help and provide patients with state-of-the-art treatments provided in a comfortable, relaxing and holistically safe environment. Dr. Elahe Wissinger aims to give patients knowledge so that they may make the correct decisions for their mouth and overall health. Connect at 520-745-5496 or EDentalSolutions.net. See ad, back cover.