- by admin
- March 23, 2023
We are all aware of how diet and nutrition are important for our overall health but we never give a thought that how these can impact our oral health. Poor nutrition can cause harmful oral diseases, whereas good nutrition contributes to good oral health by encouraging an environment in which good bacteria can thrive. These good bacteria give you enamel and gingivae strong enough to withstand oral diseases like caries and erosion.
In fact, the rules for enjoying good Oral health are almost the same as the rules for our body like good food and nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and regular care.
Consuming too many sugar-filled foods like sodas, and sweetened drinks can put you at risk for tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease.
However, the good news is that this is easily preventable, and enjoying good oral health is possible through making the right choices in diet and being regular with your oral hygiene practices and checkup.
What Are the Signs of a Healthy Mouth?
The common indicators of healthy teeth include
- Teeth that are strong and intact
- Teeth that lack any pain and do not bleed
- Absence of excessive tenderness
- Neutral and fresh breath
- Absence of any stains, discoloration abscess, etc
How Can The Wrong Foods Affect My Teeth?
The relationship between food choices and nutritional and dental weaknesses has been recognized by dentists for a long time now.
Consumption of wrong foods that are high in carbohydrates, sugar, acids, and starch in large quantities can weaken our tooth enamel and our mouth’s resistance to harmful bacteria, resulting in the development of oral diseases.
What Are The Foods To Avoid For Good Oral Health?
Acidic and Sugary Foods
Low pH values can make beverages and foods harmful and acidic. And if these foods are also high in sugar then the damage can double up. Foods high in acid can cause cavities and other oral health problems like canker sores.
The foods which can damage our teeth include Candies, red wine, citrus-based fruit juices, soft drinks, vinegar, tomatoes, and alcohol. Consume these foods in moderation and always
try to take along with them other foods with higher pH to help nullify the acidity of these foods.
Always make sure to brush and floss after meals to remove any remaining food particles and to remove anything sticky that is clinging to the teeth
Foods High In Carbs And Sugar
High-carb snacks also contain sugars or starches and are best avoided as when consumed the carbohydrates in foods break down into sugars and when combined with the bacteria in your mouth can become acidic.
Some examples are:
- Cereals as they contain added sugars
- Potato chips as they can get stuck to teeth and also their sharp edges can end up damaging the gum tissue
- Crusty bread as can get stuck in your teeth and also their sharp crust can lead to gum damage
- Popcorn kernel husks as they end up getting stuck between teeth and gums causing damage to both. Caramelized popcorns are even harmful as they contain added sugar too
- Cookies, cakes, and pies as they are high in sugar.
Oral health is a commitment that one needs to make early in life. Inculcating healthy habits in children can go a long way in giving them good oral health. Poor nutrition, bad dietary habits, and lack of oral hygiene can lead to early tooth decay and other problems.
Relationship Between Diet and Oral Health
Diet and Tooth Decay
A clear relation between the consumption of high-sugar and acidic foods and Dental erosion has been witnessed by dentists over the years. Hence, it becomes important to restrict your intake of foods high in sugar and carbohydrates and watch what you eat.
Erosion of enamel due to the presence of dental plaque, a thin biofilm that is formed on teeth by destructive bacteria and is supported by high sugar intake is known as dental decay or cavities. Plaque coming into contact with sugar in the mouth, causes acid to attack the teeth and eat away at your tooth enamel ie the hard covering on your teeth, resulting in holes or cavities in your teeth. These cavities can cause issues like bad breath and other oral health problems including tooth decay.
The common causes of tooth decay include bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and inadequate cleaning of your teeth.
We at Morgan Hill Dentistry ask our patients to make sure to read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and try to make choices based on the amount of sugar present in the food.
Diet and Gum Disease
The relationship between malnutrition and gum disease is yet another evidence of the impact of diet on your oral health. Periodontal disease or gum disease is a usual outcome of poor gum health and affects many people.
This is the most common form of gum disease and is a result of dental plaque which does not just cause tooth decay but also leads to inflamed gums.
The disease that damages the soft tissue in the mouth leading to tooth loss, periodontal disease can be very detrimental. The calcification of plaque forms calculus which leads to pathogenic microbes settling along your gums and causing great damage.
This particular gum disease is caused by a lack of vitamin C, causing a host of acid-producing bacteria to settle on the gum line.
Poor periodontal health not only affects your gums’ health but also adversely impacts the quality of your life. Moreover, oral diseases like periodontitis are known to have a link with systemic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and lung diseases. So there is a lot about your overall well-being that is impacted by your oral health.
What Is The Right Nutrition For Your Oral Health?
A diet and nutrition that is considered satisfactory for your oral health go beyond just avoiding harmful foods. You must consume foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
The vitamins that are needed the most by your mouth are vitamins A, B Vitamins like folate and B11, and Vitamins C, D, E, and K2.
Minerals that are considered important for mouth nutrition include calcium, magnesium, iron zinc, phosphorus, etc. Intake and absorption of these nutrients ensure to keep your mouth and oral health in good condition.
Foods rich in calcium and phosphorus help to re-mineralize or fill holes, if any in your tooth enamel.
What are The Foods And Drinks That Are Good For Your Oral Health?
Foods rich in calcium and phosphorus that are necessary for strong teeth and healthy gums include milk, cheese, nuts, and meat. Some green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are also high in calcium and can be consumed by those who have lactose intolerance.
Our dentists say that the consumption of crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples, pears, and carrots helps to create more saliva, which helps wash away food particles from between your teeth, gums, and tongue.
Moreover, the high water content in fruits and vegetables helps to dilute any sugars that can turn into tooth-damaging acid upon combining with the bacteria in your mouth
Which Are The Mouth-healthy Drinks?
Drinks that are low in sugar, and carbohydrates, and are non-acidic are deemed best for oral health and so is water containing fluoride. The water helps to flush out the food particles from the crevices of the teeth and also hydrates the mouth, in turn creating an adequate amount of saliva that further helps to neutralise acids and harmful bacteria. Any soft spots in your tooth enamel can be rebuilt with the help of fluoride.
Other drinks which are considered good for your oral health are milk, which is high in calcium, and unsweetened teas.
Drinks like lemonade and sodas are acidic and often contain sugar. One also needs to be careful with the amount of consumption of coffee and teas with added sugar, hot chocolate, flavoured drink mixes, etc.
Preventive Oral Hygiene
We at Morgan Hill Dentistry always tell our patients that whereas avoiding sugary and acidic foods and eating a nutrient-rich diet is important for your oral health, equal importance needs to be given to proper daily dental care and oral hygiene if you wish to enjoy your smile for a long long time and continue to eat the foods you like.
Be sure to maintain good oral hygiene habits like:
- Flossing once a day
- Brushing at least twice a day with a gentle, soft-bristle brush
- Using toothpaste with fluoride.
- Oil pulling which is a teeth-whitening practice is considered healthier than using mouthwash.
- Visiting a dentist’s office twice every year for routine cleanings and examinations.
Oral Health-A commitment to Life
Protecting the health of your teeth and gums is a commitment you make for your general well-being. So always be aware of what goes in your mouth. before you eat and drink. Eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks can go a long way in giving you a healthy smile.
At Morgan Hill Dentistry, we encourage our patients to take charge of their oral health. Our experts can guide you about optimum dental hygiene and also give you nutrition consultations to guide you about your eating habits.
A stress-free atmosphere and a competent and compassionate staff ensure that you are totally relaxed during your visits.
Our dentists can assess the overall health of your mouth after a thorough examination and suggest improvements that can be made in your eating habits and also help you with issues or concerns, if any.
Schedule an appointment today and let our experts assist you with the oral health of your family.