Dental health is more important than most people think. And nutrition plays a big role in that. Wondering what to eat to keep your teeth and gums strong? Our teeth are so small, but without teeth we cannot chew. Imagine that you can no longer eat crunchy raw vegetables and fruits, nuts!
We need healthy teeth and gums to eat nutritious foods. And we must eat nutritious food for healthy teeth.
When we were children, our diet influenced the development of our teeth. And as we grow up, nutrition continues to play a role in maintaining dental health.
If we don’t take care of our teeth and gums, we risk tooth decay, gum disease, and even bone loss.
Meanwhile, the condition of our teeth and gums can signal cardiovascular disease, celiac disease, diabetes, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, alcoholism, and more. If our eyes are the mirror of the soul, our teeth and gums are the window of our body.
A cavity is a hole in the tooth enamel. Up to 90% of schoolchildren and most adults have at least one cavity in the tooth enamel, in other words, a hole in the tooth. Tooth decay is the result of a buildup of plaque, a sticky, slimy substance made up mostly of bacteria. When sugar and carbohydrates are present in the mouth, bacteria create acids, and these acids can erode the teeth. This leads to pain and inflammation. So if you find a cavity, don’t put off seeing a doctor.
About half of American adults over the age of thirty suffer from periodontal disease or gum disease.
Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue, is an early stage of the problem. With proper care, you can fix everything. But if you don’t, eventually the inflammation will spread to the spaces between your teeth.
Bacteria love to colonize these gaps, constantly destroying the tissues that connect teeth. Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen and discolored gums, gum bleeding, loose teeth, tooth loss, and bad breath. Harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to other chronic health problems.
Periodontal disease is a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease. Why? We don’t really know for sure, but apparently gum disease doesn’t just signal inflammation; they also increase inflammation. And inflammation contributes to coronary heart disease.
Periodontal disease is associated with low blood levels of vitamins and minerals. And getting enough specific nutrients is very important for successful treatment.
What do you need for healthy teeth and gums?
Protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, antioxidants, folate, iron, vitamins A, C, D, omega-3 fats. They take part in the formation of the structure of teeth, enamel, mucosa, connective tissue, immune defense.
What is good to eat and what is better to refuse
The nutrient list is great, but when you’re at the grocery store, you still need to know exactly what you need to buy. Luckily, you don’t have to do anything special. Eat foods high in lean protein and fresh vegetables. Avoid processed foods, especially those that are high in simple sugars.
Here are a few foods, nutrients, and supplements that can play a role in oral health.
Probiotics help prevent gum inflammation and plaque formation; bacteria found in fermented milk products can inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms in the oral cavity. One study found that consumption of fermented milk products was associated with fewer periodontal diseases. Probiotics from any source can be beneficial in a similar way.
Cranberries and other anthocyanin-rich plant foods (eg, blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant, black rice, and raspberries) may prevent pathogens from attaching and colonizing host tissues (including teeth). Some studies have even shown that cranberry extract is good for mouthwash and improves dental health! This humble berry can give you healthy teeth.
Polyphenols are known to reduce the presence of bacteria and toxic bacterial products in the mouth. Tea is also rich in fluoride, which is very beneficial for dental health.
Chewing gum with pycnogenol
Gum, made from pine bark or sap, reduces plaque and gum bleeding. Great Uncle’s Remedy really works!
A diet that includes soy helps reduce periodontal disease.
This important amino acid can change the acidity of the mouth and reduce the chance of cavities.
Echinacea, garlic, ginger and ginseng
Studies show that these plants help curb the growth of periodontal pathogens in test tubes. But human studies are still lacking.
Try to get your nutrients from whole foods. (Bonus: You’re giving your teeth an extra load, too!)
The mineral fluoride helps prevent the decalcification of our bodies. In other words, it helps to effectively absorb and use calcium. Fluoride in saliva can prevent enamel demineralization.
Fats and the oral cavity
In obesity, excess adipose tissue is often stored in places where it should not be, such as the liver. Dental health is no exception.
Obesity correlates with adipose tissue in the form of deposits in the oral cavity, inside the lips or cheeks, on the tongue, in the salivary glands.
It is clear that control of inflammation is important for oral hygiene, and obesity is correlated with inflammation. This is why obesity is the second biggest risk factor for oral inflammation. The only thing worse for oral health than obesity is smoking.
Why? Because high blood sugar, changes in saliva composition and inflammation tend to accompany being overweight. Result? Increased oxidants – These nasty free radicals can damage our body’s cells.
In addition, body fat cells release inflammatory compounds. One common inflammatory compound associated with periodontal inflammation in obese individuals is orosomucoid. Meanwhile, orosomucoid has also been linked to malnutrition. It’s a surprise? Maybe not, given that many people get fat from a nutrient-poor diet.
People who are overweight are also at greater risk of developing diabetes, and diabetes, in turn, is associated with poor oral health. This is probably due to the increase in blood sugar and the consequences associated with it.
Disorderly eating and oral hygiene
Healthy eating habits can improve oral health by changing the composition of saliva for the better.
Meanwhile, overeating and malnutrition pose a serious threat to oral health. Problems include enamel damage, tissue damage, abnormal salivation, swelling, and hypersensitivity.
Aging and oral health
The risk of periodontal disease increases as we age. But the longer we maintain good oral health, the better our quality of life will be. It is not yet clear what exactly causes oral disease with age. Theories include wear and tear on teeth and gums, drug use, financial hardship (resulting in reduced preventive care), other chronic oral health conditions, and immunological changes. It is clear that good care of our teeth and gums at any age is important.
Sugar and oral health
Eat more sugar – get more cavities, right? Not properly. Are you surprised? In fact, one study showed no link between eating highly sugared breakfast cereals and developing cavities!
But here’s a more likely explanation: The sheer amount of sugar we eat may be less detrimental to dental health than the frequency of sugar consumption. This is why energy drinks are so dangerous. By sipping sugary drinks, we ensure the presence of sugar on our teeth. Most sugary drinks are highly acidic, which promotes demineralization.
A diet based on refined and processed carbohydrates can lead to cavities and gum disease. The World Health Organization suggests that no more than 10% of total energy intake should come from added sugar. So if you eat 2000 calories a day, then 200 calories should come from added sugar, that’s 50 grams. This suggests that the authors of these liberal recommendations own shares in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame do not seem to promote periodontal disease and cavities. Sugar alcohols such as xylitol or erythritol do not seem to affect oral health. In fact, chewing xylitol-containing gum after meals may even reduce the risk of cavities.
As for stevia, it doesn’t seem to have negative effects on oral health. But more research is needed, of course.
Watch your oral hygiene. Seriously. Are you still flossing? Do you brush your teeth at least twice a day? If not, then start.
Brush your teeth not only with toothpaste, but also with baking soda. Baking soda has an alkaline effect on the mouth and reduces the risk of caries.
Avoid smoking. Smoking can lead to gum and tooth decay.
Drink green tea. Drinking green tea improves the health of your teeth and gums by reducing inflammation, making your mouth more alkaline, inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, preventing tooth loss, may slow the progression of oral cancer, and freshens your breath by killing odor-causing bacteria. Blimey! Green tea can help you get rid of obesity as well.
Chew xylitol gum after meals. Xylitol increases saliva production and prevents the growth of acid-producing bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities. But don’t overdo it, because even though sugar alcohols don’t damage your teeth, they can cause gas and bloating.
Eat mostly whole, nutritious foods that provide enough calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin K (especially K2), and vitamin D. Foods that are good for dental health: Leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, cheese, yogurt, beans, and mushrooms . Oh, and make sure you get enough sunlight.
Eat raw, crunchy vegetables and fruits every day. Raw foods clean teeth very well (apples, carrots, sweet peppers, etc.). Eating apples as a dessert after dinner will help remove plaque. In addition, apples contain natural xylitol.
Limit your intake of sugar, it can be found in foods and drinks – fruit juices, energy drinks, candy, etc. Energy drinks are especially harmful as they contain sugar and are oxidizing. If your diet is built around energy bars and energy drinks, you will probably have no teeth left by your 45th birthday.
Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess fat can contribute to poor health, including poor oral hygiene.
Increase the amount of arginine in your diet. Eat more spinach, lentils, nuts, whole grains, and soy.
Get regular exercise. Exercise protects against periodontal disease.