The most common reason why people visit their dentist is to have their teeth cleaned. However, there are other things the dentist can do beyond just a regular cleaning that can also help your teeth stay healthy, such as X-rays, examinations and even taking care of plaque and gingivitis. Here are some tips on dental health that should be part of your daily dental routine: 1. Eat a balanced diet. It is very important that you consume nutritious foods, so that your teeth are not exposed to any harmful substances. If you take in too much sugar, salt or fat, your teeth will suffer. In fact, excessive sugar consumption can lead to increased dental decay, gingivitis, and bad breath. This is where your diet becomes
Dental pain is one of the main reasons why people consult a dentist. However, poor oral health has a direct impact on overall health, and is often overlooked. So what can you do to improve your oral health? Research shows that many of the top 10 strategies have a direct impact on dental health. The 10 strategies are: 1. Exercise regularly. 2. Drink water. 3. Eat plenty of fiber. 4. Eat fruit. 5. Eat whole grains. 6. Eat fish. 7. Eat low fat dairy products. 8. Eat lean meat. 9. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. 10. Eat more vitamin C-rich foods.
Your teeth are the most important tool you have to prevent tooth decay. Good oral health can help you live longer, and can improve the quality of your life. But in developed countries, the prevalence of dental problems is growing. According to the World Health Organization, dental disease is the main cause of childhood mortality and disability worldwide.
The importance of dental health is underestimated by the majority of people. Nutrition plays a significant influence in this. Do you want to know what foods you should eat to maintain your teeth and gums healthy? Take a bite of this.
Our teeth may appear to be little. However, they, along with our gums, are far more vital to our health than many of us think.
We can’t chew without teeth. Think about it. No more crunchy raw fruits and vegetables! There will be no more nuts! There will be no more peanut brittle! (Did I just say something like that?)
And here’s something else to consider: people with 25 or more teeth consume more nutritiously. (With the exception of peanut brittle.)
Do you have any doubts about how many teeth you have? Go ahead and count to ten.
To eat nutritious foods, we need strong teeth and gums. For healthy teeth, we also need to eat nutritional foods.
Our food as children has an impact on how our teeth form. And, once we’ve reached adulthood and have all of our teeth in place, what we consume has an impact on our dental health.
We risk dental decay, gum disease, and even bone loss if we don’t take care of our teeth and gums.
Meanwhile, the quality of our teeth and gums can indicate a variety of health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, celiac disease, diabetes, sinus infection, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease, gastric reflux, alcoholism, and more. In fact, your dentist may be able to diagnose these issues before your physician!
Our teeth and gums are a window to our bodies, just as our eyes are to our souls.
A cavity is a hole in the enamel of a tooth. At least one cavity affects up to 90% of schoolchildren and the majority of adults.
Look up Google photographs of severe untreated cavities if you need some motivation to brush and floss. It’s not a pleasant sight.
Cavities are caused by plaque buildup, which is a slimy, sticky substance made largely of bacteria. Bacteria produce acids as they break down sugar and carbs, and these acids can chip away at your teeth.
Cavities cause pain as they become larger and come into contact with nerves. A cavity that goes untreated might turn into a tooth abscess.
So, if you discover a cavity, seek treatment as soon as possible.
Periodontal disease is a type of gum disease that affects the
Periodontal disease, often known as gum disease, affects over half of all persons in the United States over the age of thirty.
Gingivitis, or gum tissue inflammation, is a common early stage disease. It is possible to reverse it with careful treatment. If you don’t, the inflammation will eventually lead to “pockets,” or small holes between your teeth and gums.
Bacteria love to colonize these spaces, which can develop to periodontitis, a condition in which the tissues that connect teeth to bone in the mouth are permanently destroyed. This isn’t good.
Swollen or discolored gums, sensitive gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, changes in tooth sensation when eating, loose teeth, tooth loss, and foul breath are all symptoms of periodontitis.
As if that weren’t terrible enough, swollen and damaged gums make it easier for hazardous germs to enter the circulation, leading to additional chronic health issues.
Coronary artery disease is linked to periodontal disease. Why? We don’t know for sure, but gum disease appears to not just indicate inflammation, but also to exacerbate inflammation. Inflammation also has a role in coronary artery disease.
The same bacteria that populate our gums have also been detected in plaque on artery walls.
Root surface debridement is a treatment that can be used to treat periodontal disease. Root surface debridement, which sounds like a lot of fun, entails tools that look like torture implements, local anesthetic, hours crammed into a dentist chair, and a hefty fee.
Please keep in mind that this method does not guarantee a positive outcome.
Nutrient deficiencies & oral health
In our mouths, mucosal cells turn over every three to seven days. As a result, vitamin deficiencies or excesses will manifest in oral tissue before they manifest elsewhere.
Lower vitamin and mineral levels in the blood are linked to periodontal disease. Getting enough of certain nutrients can also be crucial to a successful treatment.
What do you require for healthy teeth and gums, and why do you require it? Here’s a nice chart to help you out.
|Nutrient||What is it used for?|
|Protein||Immune function, mucosal/connective tissue development, and tooth structure|
|Calcium||Enamel remineralization may be aided by tooth structure.|
|Phosphorus||Structure of the teeth.|
|Zinc||Immune function and mucosal/connective tissues|
|Antioxidants||Immune function and mucosal/connective tissues|
|Folate||Low levels of mucosal/connective tissues and immunological function are linked to periodontal disease.|
|Iron||Immune function and mucosal/connective tissues|
|Vitamin A||Immune function and mucosal/connective tissues However, take note that using too many supplements can cause gum problems.|
|Vitamin C||Collagen maturation and periodontal ligament integrity; mucosal/connective tissue function; and immunological function|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||Immune function and mucosal/connective tissue function; affects the inflammatory response.|
|Vitamin D||Immune function, mucosal/connective tissues; may help with enamel remineralization.|
|B vitamins are essential for good health.||The turnover of epithelial cells.|
What to eat and what to avoid
A list of nutrients is great, but you still need to know what food to buy when you’re standing in the grocery store. You don’t need to do anything unusual, fortunately: Eat a diet rich in nutritious foods, lean protein, and fresh veggies.
Most processed foods should be avoided, especially those heavy in simple sugars.
Take your fish oil with you.
Do you want to try for extra credit? A few foods, nutrients, and/or supplements that may play a role in dental health are included below.
Probiotics may aid to reduce gingivitis and plaque, and bacteria found in fermented foods may inhibit pathogen growth in the mouth. Consumption of fermented dairy was linked to a lower risk of periodontal disease in one study. In a similar way, probiotics from any source could be beneficial.
Cranberries and other anthocyanin-rich foods (such as blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant peel, black rice, and raspberries) may inhibit infections from attaching to and colonizing host tissues (including teeth).
Cranberry extract-infused mouthwash has even been shown to boost oral health in several studies! Sure, we all knew blueberries were superpowers, but who knew the humble bog berry could help you keep your teeth in good shape? See The Power of the Phytochemical for further information on phytochemicals like anthocyanins.
Polyphenols have been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria and hazardous bacteria products in the mouth. Tea is also high in fluoride, which is arguably the most well-known teeth strengthener. See What You Should Know About Tea for further information on the benefits of tea.
Gum containing pycnogenol
Plaque and bleeding gums have been found to be reduced by gum prepared from pine bark or sap. Great-cure Grandpa’s is effective!
A soy-rich diet may aid in the prevention of periodontal disease.
This vital amino acid has the potential to change the pH of the mouth and lower the risk of cavities.
Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule that looks and acts like a vitamin. It is contained in every cell of our bodies and is required for energy production. Deficiencies may contribute to the progression of periodontal disease.
Echinacea, garlic, ginger, and ginseng are all good for you.
In test tubes, these plants have been shown to help limit the growth of periodontal infections. However, there aren’t enough human research to draw solid judgments about their advantages.
First and foremost, eat whole foods.
Make an effort to receive all of the nutrients listed above from whole foods. (Plus, you’re working out your teeth and gums!) Supplements should not be used unless you have a known deficiency.
Keep in mind that if you’re a persistent dieter or have had bariatric surgery, you’re more likely to have deficiencies. Consult your physician.
Fluoride is a mineral that aids in the prevention of decalcification in our bodies. In other words, it aids calcium absorption and use.
It also has a topical effect on teeth, which helps to keep their surfaces healthy. Saliva fluoride may aid in the remineralization of enamel.
When it comes to preventing cavities, obtaining adequate fluoride is really more important than decreasing sugar. (Don’t be concerned.) I’m not going to tell your kids.)
Body fat & oral health
Adipose tissue is a type of fat tissue.
Excess adipose (fat) tissue is frequently deposited in places where it shouldn’t be, such as the liver, in obesity. There is no exemption when it comes to dental health.
Obesity is linked to the deposit of adipose tissue as a lipoma (basically, a tumor-like mass made of fat) in the oral cavity, such as inside the lips or cheeks (buccal mucosa), on the tongue, or in the salivary glands (sialipoma).
Controlling inflammation is clearly crucial for oral health, and obesity is linked to inflammation. This is why obesity is the second most common cause of oral inflammation. Smoking is the only thing that is worse for your dental health than being overweight.
Why? Because those who are overweight are more likely to have high blood sugar, AGEs, changes in salivary pH, and pro-inflammatory chemicals. In the meanwhile, mucosal cells may be more porous (due to nutrient deficiencies or imbalances).
What’s the end result? An increase in oxidants, which are those pesky free radicals that can cause cell damage.
Inflammatory chemicals are also released by body fat cells.
Orosomucoid is a frequent inflammatory marker linked to periodontal inflammation in those who are overweight. Orosomucoid, on the other hand, is a sign of starvation. Should that come as a shock? Perhaps not, given how many people grow overweight due to a nutrient-deficient diet.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop diabetes, and diabetes is linked to poor dental health. This is most likely related to high blood sugar and its consequences.
Obesity and periodontitis have a connection. F. Boesing et al., Boesing F, et al., Boesing F, et The relationship between obesity and periodontitis, with a focus on oxidative stress and inflammation. Obesity Review, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 290-297, 2009.
Disordered eating & oral health
Oral health can be improved by altering the pH of the mouth’s environment through healthy eating habits.
Meanwhile, the purging and starvation that go hand in hand with disordered eating can have a detrimental impact on oral health. Enamel loss, lesions, improper salivation, edema, and sensitivity are all issues.
See All About Disordered Eating for more information about disordered eating.
Aging & oral health
As we get older, our chances of developing periodontal disease increase. However, the longer we keep our teeth in good shape, the higher our quality of life will be.
It’s unclear what causes oral disease as people get older. Wear and tear on teeth and gums, pharmaceutical use, economical changes (resulting in less preventive treatment), other chronic conditions linked to oral health, and/or immunological changes are some of the theories.
What is apparent is that we must take proper care of our teeth and gums at all ages.
Sugars & oral health
Isn’t it true that if you eat more sugar, you’ll get more cavities? Wrong.
Are you taken aback?
In fact, one study found no link between high-sugar morning cereals and the development of cavities!
Perhaps the kids used Listerine as a chaser.
But there’s a better explanation: it turns out that the amount of sugar we consume is less damaging to our dental health than the frequency with which we consume it.
That is why sugared sodas and energy drinks are so harmful to your health.
Drinking sugary beverages causes your teeth to be bombarded with sugar. The acidity of most sugary beverages causes demineralization. It’s a double whammy for our mouth.
Whether it’s the amount or the frequency of sugar consumption that matters, one thing is certain: a diet high in refined and processed carbohydrate meals can cause tooth decay and gingival inflammation.
How much is too much, and what type of excess is it?
Sugars that are added to foods appear to be worse for teeth than sugars that occur naturally.
According to the World Health Organization, added sugars should account for no more than 10% of total energy intake. So, if you ate 2000 calories a day, added sugars would account for 200 calories, or 50 grams.
(The WHO also recommends consuming no more than four added-sugar items per day.) I have to wonder if the WHO report’s writers own stock in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, based on these broad suggestions.)
Sweeteners other than sugar
Sucralose (Splenda) and aspartame (Equal) are artificial sweeteners that do not appear to induce periodontal disease or cavities.
Sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol don’t appear to have any effect on dental health. Chewing sugar alcohol xylitol-containing gum after meals may actually reduce your risk of developing cavities.
Stevia, on the other hand, does not appear to have any harmful consequences on dental health. However, additional research is required in this area.
Make sure you’re brushing your teeth. Seriously. Have you started flossing yet? Do you clean your teeth at least twice a day? Start if you haven’t already.
- Brush your teeth using baking soda-based toothpaste as well as fluoride-based toothpaste. Baking soda raises the pH of your mouth, making it more alkaline and lowering the risk of cavities.
- Smoking should be avoided. Smoking has a negative impact on the health of your gums and teeth.
- Green tea should be consumed. Green tea benefits your teeth and gums by reducing inflammation, alkalinizing your mouth, inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, preventing tooth loss, slowing the advancement of oral cancer, and freshening your breath by destroying odor-causing bacteria. Wow! All of this, plus it can help you lose weight.
- After meals, chew xylitol gum. Xylitol boosts saliva production and prevents cavity-causing acids from being produced by bacteria in your mouth. But don’t overdo it, because while sugar alcohols aren’t harmful to your teeth, they can induce bloating and gas.
- Consume primarily complete, nutrient-dense foods high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin K (particularly K2), and vitamin D. Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, hard aged cheeses, plain yogurt, meats, natto, beans, mushrooms, salmon, eggs, and organ meats are all good choices. Also, make sure you receive some natural light.
- Every day, consume some raw, crunchy fruits and veggies. Raw vegetables help to clean your teeth to some extent (apples, carrots, bell peppers, etc). After lunch, a dessert of an apple will aid in the removal of debris that has clung to the surface of your teeth. Apples also contain xylitol, which is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol.
- Foods and beverages with added sugars should be avoided. Soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, candy, and other sugary beverages fall under this category. Energy drinks are especially harmful because they mix a high sugar content with a highly acidic pH. If your diet consists solely of energy snacks and energy drinks, you will most likely be toothless by the time you turn 45.
- Keep a lean and healthy body composition. Excess body fat can lead to a variety of health problems, including poor oral health.
- Incorporate more arginine into your diet. Spinach, lentils, almonds, eggs, whole grains, meat, shellfish, and soy are all good sources of iron.
- Get some exercise on a regular basis. Periodontal disease appears to be protected by exercise.
The toothbrush of nature.
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To see the information sources mentioned in this article, go here.
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Micronutritional approaches to periodontal therapy, Van der Velden U, et al. 142-158 in J Clin Periodontol, 38(Suppl 11), 2010.
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Tooth decay is the most common oral health problem in the world, resulting in significant losses in quality of life and time. The loss of teeth is a significant health problem, and is the leading cause of chronic disease, including osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes. However, the right diet can help to prevent this.. Read more about the impact of nutrition and diet on oral health and let us know what you think.
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