You know sugar is bad for you. You should avoid eating it to help you maintain a healthy weight and good overall health. But did you know that excessive sugar intake can contribute to gum disease, a serious condition that could lead to tooth loss? The sugars feed harmful bacteria that produce acids and attack gums, causing them to separate from the teeth. If left unchecked, permanent damage can be done to the supporting fibers and bone.
Although leftover food particles, especially from sugary foods and carbohydrates, can contribute to gum disease, there are some foods that actually help promote your gum health. Check out these gum-friendly food suggestions from a dentist.
Water-filled Fruits and Vegetables
Instead of reaching for a sugary snack during the day, fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water, which helps to flush out bad bacteria and plaque. Some examples of these watery foods include the following:
Onions have properties that neutralize the specific types of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. That same bacteria cause bad breath, so although it gives you potent breath temporarily, onions also help you achieve better breath overall.
Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
Fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth and gums because of their vitamin content. For example, the vitamin C found in leafy greens boosts red blood cell production and reduces inflammation, which helps battle irritation and gum disease. Also, fiber-rich foods require a lot of chewing. This action creates more saliva to rinse out food particles, plaque, and bacteria especially around the gumline.
Here are some examples of fibrous fruits and vegetables that you should incorporate into your diet to keep your gums healthy:
Not only are milk, cheese, and yogurt a good source of calcium to strengthen teeth, but most dairy products also contain casein, a protein that helps to neutralize oral acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth, strengthening your gum health.
This kind of mushroom has an antibacterial compound called lentinan, which fights against the bacteria that build plaque and cause gum disease. Shiitake mushrooms also are a powerful anti-inflammatory, which helps to keep your gums healthy.
Okay, so water isn’t a food, but it still is great for your gums. Not only does it mean less sugar for those bad bacteria to feed on, but it washes away plaque and food particles, preventing gum disease. Next time, replace that soda or juice with water.
Promoting your gum health doesn’t mean just denying yourself sugar and avoiding foods that are bad for your gums; it means making better choices and consuming foods that will actively help in your efforts for gum health. For more suggestions or concerns about your gum health, contact your dentist in Vienna today!
About the Practice
Monarch Dentistry offers comprehensive, personalized dental care to patients in the Vienna area. Their dentists—Dr. Neil Flenniken and Dr. Suzan Rismani-Flenniken—use the most advanced dental tools and techniques to provide their patients with the best available treatments and services. To contact them, call or click here.