Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the most common oral health problems of our time. They are also easily preventable by improving your diet and maintaining good dental hygiene.
Tooth decay or caries, is the erosion of teeth caused by acid in the mouth. Highly acidic food and drink such as citrus fruits and juices can contribute to acid erosion. But their high vitamin content is good for the immune system, which conversely helps to prevent and fight tooth decay.
While there is no direct link between poor nutrition and periodontal (gum) disease, it will inevitably progress more rapidly and severely in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients – much like any other health condition.
Some research has also shown a link between oral health and systematic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So improving your diet is only ever going to be a good thing – balance is the key to vitality.
In most cases, the best diet is a balanced one that includes all the major food groups and holds back on refined sugar and saturated fat – the former being your teeth’s worst enemy. Fad diets are often just out to make money and you should always put your health before your appearance (though good health is always visible).
Good, strong teeth come from having plenty of calcium, which is found in all sorts of foods – namely dairy products and dark green vegetables. Calcium is also necessary for our bodies to absorb vitamin D and iron.
Saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues, and also aids digestion. So it is important to keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water. Again, this will benefit you in many ways. If you suffer from dry mouth, try chewing some sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
Decay is promoted by foods that cling to our teeth – which is why it is so important to brush them regularly. When you snack, avoid soft, sweet sticky foods such as cakes and sweets. Try eating nuts, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, plain-yoghurt or cheese instead. Fermentable carbohydrates, such as biscuits, crackers and crisps should not really be eaten on their own either. Combining them with fresh foods helps to neutralise acids in the mouth and keep tooth decay at bay.
If you would like to know more about how your diet is affecting your oral health, book an appointment Smile Pad today. Our highly trained staff can offer a range of different treatments as well as a range of tips and advice.