Diet Effects on Teeth ,gums and oral tissue
The dietary choices you make have a profound impact on our overall health, and specifically our oral health. It is very important to pay attention to what we eat and become knowledgeable about the kinds of food we should consume or avoid .
In united states of america lot of our food is processed and have high sugar content. In addition, many of our beverages are acidic. Poor food quality damages our teeth by causing cavities. It also causes gum disease and bone loss in presence of plaque. High acid content will not only lower the PH of the oral environment which is shown to allow acid producing bacteria in the plaque to become active, but also will etch the surface of the tooth creating microscopic imperfections resulting increased incidence of staining. Acidic food and drinks also cause acid erosion which dissolves enamel ,dentin and root structure resulting in recession and tooth sensitivity.
Other tissues in the mouth also get affected by the type of foods we ingest. Spicy foods, certain condiments and high alcohol consumption can affect the tongue,cheeks, roof of the mouth and other areas of the oral cavity in a very serious way and in extreme cases cause irreversible damage to the exposed oral tissues.
Strategies to avoid damage and future problems
Most dentist strongly recommend their patients to stay away from foods that have high sugar content. When plaque on the teeth comes in contact with sugar , acid is produced as a by-product causing tooth decay. Sugars are prominent in candy, soft drinks, cookies, pastries and many of the sports drinks. They are also found in many of the processed foods and pastes. It is very important to be aware of the sugar content of the food and drinks we ingest. It is very helpful to read food labels and become aware of the sugar content and try to limit sugar intake.
There are even some natural foods and fruits with high sugar content that should be avoided especially in cavity prone people . A list of high sugar content food,and drinks can be searched online which will help educate one.
The consistency of the food can also contribute to poor dental health. Sticky foods like raisins ,honey , molasses ,bread , dried fruits and sweets like carmel cling to teeth and immensely increase the risk of cavities. The best approach is to limit their intake ,but if used, it is paramount to brush after their consumption to remove the reminants from the tooth surface as soon as possible.
To avoid staining the teeth ,it is best to limit the amount of foods,dinks,and natural fruits that have lot of pigments(natural or artificial colors). Chromogens are pigments that are found in drinks such as coffee, red wine, and certain teas which will stain teeth if not properly rinsed out. Pressed juices, high consumption of fruits and vegetables with natural pigmentation also cause staining of the teeth such as blueberries,pomogranate blackberries and wheatgrass juice, to name a few. A good strategy to lower the risk of staining is to immediately drink one or two glasses of water to dilute out the concentration of the pigment. In people with conditions where their salivais naturally is more acidic or due to some medical condition or treatment their oral environment becomes more acidic or looses its buffering effect, alkaline water and special rinses are highly recommended to avoid damages .
Nowadays the consumption of spicy food and sauces are on the rise. Cheyenne pepper usage has been recommended in lot of diet cleansing that are popular . Chilli peppers and other very spicy vegetables are used more and more. Hot sauces are very popular. Spicy food if consummed alot can cause superficial changes on the exposed tissue such as scare tissue formation. In India, where a lot of extremely spicy food is ingested, there are conditions which develop due to scare tissue formation that eventually limits opening of the mouth!
Condiments and food addatives can also cause unpleasant symptoms of the mouth. Excessive use of cinnamon, a commonly used ingrident in the diet of holistic minded people, can cause burning tongue sensation. Food allergies can affect oral tissue causing swelling and discomfort.
Alcohol consumption seems to be increasing. Alcohol dehydrates the oral tissue and affects the reperatitve power of the body and increase plaque retention.Most alcoholic drinks are also high in sugar content . These factors negatively affect the gums and the oral tissue
A balanced approach in the diet is the best way to avoid problems. A nutritional evaluation by keeping a log makes one aware of the amounts and frequency of usage of food and drinks one consumes. This is the beginning step to educate onself . Online resources must be checked to make sure one is aware of potential detrimental damages of food ingested.
Healthy Dietary Habits for Dental Health
-A Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet is essential in protecting your teeth and oral health. There are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote healthy gum. CoQ10, an antioxidant, is very effective for maintaining the gums healthy.
-Anti-inflammatory diet: A recent study by the Clinical Nutrition found that an anti-inflammatory diet promotes gum health and can prevent you from losing your teeth downRefined foods and saturated fats cause inflammation.
In people with advance medical issues or medical treatments , it is very advisable to get their medical doctor and pharmacist(pharmD),a knowledgeable nutrtionist to consult with their dentist to find the best way to avoid dietary caused problems.
Give Your Teeth and Gums a Boost
If you are looking to promote your dental health and hygiene, it is paramount to visit a dentist. Dr. Toubia has over 37 years of experience in both general practice dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. His passion is to help people be healthier, while making them more beautiful.
If you are looking to significantly improve your teeth, gums, smile, or overall oral health, contact our office today and find how Dr Toubia can help you get healthier