Your body requires proper nutrition, which means that you need to eat a diet that is well-balanced to meet its needs. Your body can get all of the nutrients it needs to keep functioning properly if you eat a diet that’s been carefully thought out and balanced. You can consume as many calories as you want, but if the food you eat is deficient in the nutrients your body needs, it can cause serious health issues and make existing conditions worse, such as making oral infections worse.
Adults who have a poor diet are at an increased risk of experiencing tooth loss and decay in their adult teeth. Although gum disease and mouth cancer are not directly caused by poor nutrition, researchers believe that eating a diet low in nutrients helps speed up the progression of these diseases.
Why Eating Well Is Important for Dental Health
Oral diseases that are not only uncomfortable but can also be debilitating affect millions of people in the United States every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that fifty percent of adults in the United States exhibit signs of gum disease, while ninety percent of adults have at least one cavity. But what measures can we take to protect our oral health?
There are a few adjustments to our way of life that we can make right now that will help us keep our pearly whites in good shape for many years to come. One of the most important preventative measures is eating a balanced diet. Teeth and gums are dependent on specific nutrients to develop appropriately and continue to be healthy throughout one’s life. Consuming nutritious foods can aid in warding off tooth decay, gum disease, and infections.
1. Dental Caries
This phrase refers to the disease process that is responsible for the development of cavities. Plaque is formed by bacteria that feed off the residue of the food that you eat and then expel acids that erode the enamel on your teeth. Snacking frequently and brushing inadequately or infrequently are two habits that can make acid attacks from plaque more severe. You can prevent cavities from developing if you consume fewer snacks and brush your teeth more frequently.
2. Periodontal Disease
Plaque buildup can lead to gum infections, which in turn can cause your gums to recede and become further separated from your teeth. Infections of the gums can spread to the jawbone and teeth if they are not properly treated or managed. This can result in both bone and tooth loss. Brushing your teeth thoroughly and maintaining a healthy diet are two of the best ways to avoid gum disease, despite the prevalence of the condition. Plaque can begin to form in less than twenty-four hours, and if it is allowed to sit unchecked, it will eventually harden into tartar, which can only be removed using specialized equipment and tools.
Plaque can easily take over if oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing are skipped, so maintaining a good oral hygiene routine can help prevent gum disease. Plaque can easily take over if oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing are skipped. The food you eat can also play a role in preventing gum disease from developing.
Plaque and tartar can be avoided by selecting unprocessed foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods rather than processed foods. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating foods high in sugar or starch can help reduce the likelihood that you will develop periodontal disease.
Bad breath is something that you will become aware of almost immediately, in contrast to the gradual development of cavities and gum disease. Because it takes your saliva some time to break down pungent foods like garlic and onion, their aftertaste will linger. However, digestion is yet another significant factor in the development of halitosis. Diets that cause you to have excess gas or that slow down your metabolism can also affect your breath.
Keeping track of how your body responds to various foods can be an effective way to keep your metabolism revved up. Your mouth will be cleaner, and your breath will be fresher if you eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. This will help keep your saliva production high.
How an Unhealthy Diet Causes Tooth Decay
A poor diet is one of the most important factors that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. You have most likely heard that consuming a diet high in sugary foods can put your teeth at risk of developing cavities or even cause them to fall out. However, there are a great many other kinds of foods and drinks that we ought to take precautions when consuming.
For instance, over time, the enamel on your teeth can be worn down by foods and beverages that contain a high concentration of carbohydrates, starch, or acid. Therefore, to improve your oral health, which foods and drinks should you try to stay away from?
1. Sweets and Other Foods That Are High in Sugar
The obvious offenders here are sweets and confections like candy, gum, suckers, gummies, taffy, and cotton candy. Nevertheless, likely, the fact that even fruit juice, energy drinks, sports drinks, and cough drops typically contain refined sugar will come as a surprise to you. This substance clings to your teeth and contributes to the progression of tooth decay, a condition that can become more severe in individuals who have inadequate dietary intake. It is in your best interest to steer clear of sticky foods that are also soft and sweet, such as cake and candy.
2. Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated drinks are the primary contributor to the excessive amount of sugar that is consumed by children and adolescents. Because of the high amount of sugar, they contain, pop, soda, and energy drinks are not good for your teeth. Phosphoric and citric acids are both known to be harmful to tooth enamel, and many of these manufactured beverages contain both.
3. Starchy Foods
Even though bread is not generally regarded as a poor food choice, starchy foods have the propensity to get stuck on and in between teeth. Foods that are high in carbohydrates can have the same effect on your mouth as sugar does when you consume them.
Acid can typically be found in fruits, fruit juices, and wine. Even though this does not constitute unhealthy behavior, over time, exposing your teeth to high concentrations of acid can wear away enamel. Because of this, they have an increased risk of developing cavities and decay.
5. Hard Foods
By eating fewer, particularly hard foods, you can reduce your risk of breaking a tooth. One of the most common reasons for this kind of dental emergency is when something hard is chewed on, such as nuts or hard candy.
6. Foods and Drinks Containing Caffeine
There are several reasons why caffeine is harmful to consume. It can leave stains on teeth, cause dry mouth, and is typically combined with sugar when it is consumed. This includes caffeinated beverages and foods like coffee, tea, and candy.
Consuming alcohol regularly can cause dry mouth, which in turn raises the probability of developing oral infections and gum disease. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol is also considered to be a risk factor for oral cancer.
8. Getting the Balance Right for a Healthy Body and Your Mouth
Finding the right equilibrium is essential in terms of nutrition. As we’ve seen above, even natural foods like fruits and vegetables can cause tooth decay because they contain naturally occurring sugars and acids. However, this does not necessarily imply that you should eliminate them from your diet completely.
This information is provided to assist you in making informed decisions regarding your diet to improve your oral health. After all, dentists are also considered to be professionals in the healthcare industry. Cutting back on potentially hazardous foods and opting for healthier alternatives whenever it’s feasible to do so. Maintaining a healthy balance in one’s diet is essential because even the healthiest foods, when consumed in excess, can cause problems. Dental disease has a correlation to excessive eating that is on par with that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
What Nutrients Are Essential for Better Dental Health?
Even though consuming a wide variety of foods will help your body operate more efficiently, there are very few nutrients that are especially beneficial for your teeth.
Calcium has long been recognized for its beneficial effects on dental health. Calcium contributes to the formation of bones and helps maintain their structural integrity throughout the body. This mineral, when present in the mouth, helps to strengthen the jawbone and harden the enamel on your teeth. Calcium can be found in abundant amounts in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. If you find that dairy products don’t agree with you, try substituting salmon, broccoli, or carrots instead.
One of the minerals that can be found in your bones, teeth, and even your DNA is called phosphorus. It does this by combining with calcium to produce hydroxyapatite, which is the primary structural component of tooth enamel and bones. Phosphorus, fortunately, can be found in a diverse selection of foods. The mineral can be found in high concentrations in a variety of seafood, including scallops, sardines, cod, shrimp, tuna, and salmon.
In addition to that, it is present in pork, beef, and cheese. Consider consuming soybeans, lentils, and pumpkin seeds as sources of phosphorus if you would rather get your phosphorus from plant-based foods.
3. Vitamin D
Because vitamin D assists your body in absorbing calcium and also increases bone mineral density, getting an adequate amount of vitamin D is essential if you want to get the most out of the calcium you consume. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, your body produces its vitamin D, but you can also get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish, canned tuna, and portabella mushrooms. You could also look for foods and beverages that have been fortified with vitamin D, such as cereal, milk, and orange juice.
Similar to vitamin D, potassium increases the bone mineral density in your body. In addition, it collaborates with magnesium to prevent excess acidity in the blood, which, as previously mentioned, can result in the loss of calcium from the teeth and bones.
Bananas are among the most well-known foods that contain potassium, but they are not the only ones. Lima beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, and prunes are some examples of additional fruits and vegetables that contain high concentrations of the mineral.
5. Vitamin K
Imagine this vitamin as a shield, because it helps block out substances that are responsible for breaking down your bones. Additionally, it encourages the production of osteocalcin within your body, which is a protein that helps maintain bone strength.
A lack of vitamin K can not only prolong the time it takes for your body to heal, but it can also increase the likelihood that you will bleed. Consuming leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, and spinach can assist you in achieving the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. Other foods such as parsley, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are also excellent sources.
6. Vitamin C
Your gums and the other soft tissue in your mouth get a boost of strength from vitamin C. It can protect against gingivitis, which is an early stage of gum disease, and it can prevent the teeth from becoming loose. You probably already are aware that citrus fruits have a high concentration of vitamin C, but you can also get vitamin C from potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables.
7. Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps maintain healthy immune function, as well as good vision and saliva. It promotes the health of your mucous membranes, which in turn helps prevent dry mouth and expedites the healing process in your mouth. Consume a lot of fish, egg yolks, and liver to ensure that your gums and teeth remain healthy. Oranges and other foods that are orange in color, such as apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes, are good sources of vitamin A.
Other sources of vitamin A include leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens, as well as oranges and other orange-colored foods. These vegetables and fruits have high concentrations of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can be converted into vitamin A by the body.
Magnesium is an excellent mineral for one’s overall health, and it is an essential component in the process of developing healthy teeth and bones. Magnesium facilitates the body’s absorption of calcium, which is essential for the development of healthy teeth and enamel on teeth. Magnesium can be found in foods such as nuts, whole grains, beans, seeds, and vegetables with dark green leafy parts.
9. Leafy Greens
Because they are low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs, leafy greens pretty much find their way onto every list of healthy foods. Particularly beneficial to oral health is the consumption of kale and spinach. They contain a lot of calcium, which is a mineral that helps build up the enamel on your teeth. You can blend these greens into a smoothie, sprinkle a handful on top of a salad, or even put them on top of a pizza.
In addition to being a good source of calcium and protein, almonds also contain a relatively low amount of sugar. Because of this, they are beneficial to the dental health of an individual as a whole. One advantage of “tougher” food that is frequently overlooked is that it helps strengthen your jaw, which in turn enables you to continue to tackle foods that are more difficult to chew.
It is essential in the prevention of oral diseases to maintain a diet that is both well-balanced and abundant in vitamins and minerals. Not only will this improve your overall health, but it will also improve your oral health. If you are unsure about how the foods you eat may be affecting your oral health, it is best to seek the assistance of a dental health professional.