How Nutrition Affects Oral Health: A Care For Your Smile

How Nutrition Affects Oral Health: A Care For Your Smile

August 1, 2022

Nutrition plays a crucial role in your oral and overall well-being. Proper nutrition ensures that your body gets the essential nutrients and minerals to function normally. Eating healthier can protect you from issues like cavities, gum diseases, oral cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Let’s discuss more about nutrition and how it affects oral health. Contact our dentist in Citrus Heights for tips on good oral nutrition.

What Role Does Nutrition Play in Oral Health?

A poor diet can negatively impact oral health and increase your risk of dental damage, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. For instance, foods high in sugars, carbohydrates, and starches can promote bacteria growth in the mouth, increasing your risk of developing plaque, tartar, bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

If you must these foods, eat them with other meals that promote saliva production. Enough saliva flow is essential to wash away bacteria and debris from the mouth. Healthy and mouth-friendly foods foster a balanced space for healthy bacteria, enabling you to resist oral disease.

Signs your mouth is not healthy include:

  • Weak and mobile teeth
  • Multiple tooth loss
  • Oral issues like decay and gum disease
  • Oral pain, discomfort, tendency, soreness, and inflammation
  • Tooth and gum discoloration
  • Tooth abscesses
  • Bad breath and taste

Relationship Between Poor Nutrition and Oral Issues

Over the years, dental experts have established a link between poor nutrition and several oral conditions such as:

  • Tooth decay and cavities. Tooth decay or cavities form when the tooth’s enamel is compromised by bacteria, plaque, or dental trauma. Food sources rich in sugars, carbohydrates, and acids can encourage enamel erosion or damage, leading to decay and cavities.
  • Tooth erosion. Your enamel can get eroded or compromised due to plaque, bacteria, and overconsumption of hard and acidic foods.
  • Gum Disease. Eating foods rich in starch and sugars encourage bacteria and plaque, which can irritate and infect the gum tissues, leading to gum disease. Similarly, malnutrition can lead to poor gum health and other conditions like scurvy and gum disease.

Healthy and Mouth-Friendly Foods to Consider

  • Fruits and vegetables

Veggies and fruits are mouth-friendly because they contain numerous nutrients and minerals. Foods like broccoli, potatoes, peppers, cabbage, avocado, and spinach are low in sugars, fiber, and vitamins. Eating solid vegetables and fruits like apples, carrots, and celery help clean plaque and stimulate saliva production. Avoid fruits and vegetables high in sugars and acids.

  • Water

While it’s good to sip drinks regularly to avoid a dry mouth, water is your best option for caring for your mouth and overall well-being. Beverages such as soda, alcohol, lemonade, and sports drinks are high in acids and sugars, which can encourage bacteria growth in the mouth and enamel erosion. If you must take these beverages, be sure to rinse your mouth afterward to clear away leftover debris that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

  • Dairy Products

Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese are low in sugars and contain essential nutrients and minerals like calcium, which helps strengthen your teeth and bones. Do not add sugar to your dairy.

  • Lean Proteins

Proteins in an essential part of a healthy diet. It contains important vitamins and minerals that keep your body, teeth, and muscles strong and disease-free. Protein sources include lean meat, eggs, nuts, beans, and fish.

  • Nuts

Healthy nuts such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, promoting healthy teeth and gums. Similarly, nuts are low in sugars and stimulate saliva production, promoting a healthy mouth.

What Foods Should You Avoid For Good Oral Health?

To maintain healthy teeth, gums, jawbone, and mouth, be sure to avoid the following foods:

  • Sugary and starchy snacks such as white bread, sweets, cakes, and candy encourage the overgrowth of bacteria, leading to cavities and gum disease.
  • Acidic snacks. Fruits, juices, and food like lemonade, apple cider vinegar, wine, and grapefruits are highly acidic, eroding the tooth’s enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to cavities. Use a straw or rinse after taking them.
  • Carbonated drinks such as sodas are high in acids and sugars, which increases your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
  • Dried fruits. These fruits are often sticky, dry, and high in sugar, increasing your risk of cavities.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you need more information about oral health and whole-body nutrition in Citrus Heights, CA? Contact Sacramento Natural Dentistry to book your appointment with our dentist in 95610.

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