February 20, 2020
Many people don’t know that their diet is directly connected to the health of their gums and can impact their risk of developing gum disease. When you pair good at-home dental hygiene and regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist with a nutritional diet, you can make sure that your oral tissues remain strong and stable, providing your teeth with a healthy foundation. Since February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, it’s a great time to learn how you can adjust your diet to optimize your oral health. Read on for four nutritional tips to ward off the early signs of gum disease.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin C
When you were little, there was a reason why your parents always got onto you about taking your daily multivitamins. Having vitamin deficiencies can impact every part of your body, including the health of your gums. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, your gums can suffer, because it’s responsible for strengthening and protecting the soft tissues in your mouth from the early symptoms of gum disease. Eating enough citrus, potatoes, and leafy greens, which are all high in vitamin C, can keep your teeth from becoming loose due to gum recession and oral deterioration.
Cut Down On Sugars
Harmful oral bacteria love feeding off of sugar and carbohydrates found in your plaque, allowing them to produce waste such as enamel-eroding acid and toxins that cause gum inflammation, bleeding, and swelling. When you consume excessive amounts of sugars, you’re turning your mouth into a bacterial buffet that can drastically increase your likelihood of developing gum disease.
Stay Hydrated With Water
If you always reach for your nearest beverage whenever you’re thirsty, it’s a good idea to start keeping a reusable water bottle by your side from now on. Sugary sodas and sports drinks may satisfy your sweet tooth, but they put your gums at risk. Consuming water throughout the day will regularly rinse away food debris and harmful oral bacteria between each time you brush your teeth, preventing these substances from accumulating. Most tap water also contains trace amounts of fluoride, which helps strengthen your tooth enamel!
Strengthen Teeth With More Protein & Dairy
Lean protein and light dairy products that contain calcium can help neutralize acids in your mouth and provide you with vital minerals to keep your gums healthy. Foods such as cheese, yogurt, milk, and cottage cheese all contain a protein that reduces the presence of enamel-eroding acid produced by bacteria, called casein. However, while you’re grocery shopping, it’s a good idea to still check the nutrition labels and make sure they don’t contain any added sugars.
The best way to celebrate Gum Disease Awareness Month is to schedule your checkup and cleaning so you can rest assured knowing that you have a clean bill of health. This is also a great time to ask your dentist for additional tips and tricks on how to take care of your gums!
About the Author
Dr. C.J. Landry has been providing families in Marrero with high-quality preventive dental care for over three decades. He has completed thousands of hours of continuing education courses in a variety of treatments, including orthodontics, endodontics, and dental implant surgery and restoration. He understands the importance of keeping your gums healthy to preserve your natural smile for a lifetime, which is why he equips his office with the most advanced dental technology, so nothing is left to chance. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Lapalco Family Dental’s website or call 504-348-0080.
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