If you pick up any magazine in the grocery store checkout aisle, there’s a good chance you’ll find an article about the many ways that diet affects health. The old saying, “You are what you eat,” still applies today, since what you eat impacts every part of your body, including your gums!
As a dentist, we know that gum health is the result of having regular dental care, good hygiene habits and a healthy diet. In this blog, we’ll focus on how your diet affects your gums and discuss seven of the best foods for keeping your gums healthy and happy!
Greens have many different vitamins and minerals, which reduce the inflammation associated with gum disease.
When it comes to incorporating leafy greens into your diet, you have a lot of choices. Romaine, chard, collard greens, spinach, arugula and kale are just some of the greens that can benefit your gums. Spice up your salad with something other than iceberg!
Shiitake mushrooms have an antibacterial compound called lentinan that fights plaque in the mouth that contributes to gum disease. They also have a host of benefits for the rest of the body as well.
Toss them into a soup or salad, or even on top of a pizza.
The high vitamin C content of citrus fruits works two ways to improve your gum health. First, it naturally boosts your immune system to help it fight off bacteria in the mouth. Second, it reduces inflammation of the gum tissues.
There are many different citrus fruits and they’re a delicious addition to your diet! Make a fruit salad, snack on oranges or throw some strawberries into a smoothie.
Dairy has multiple benefits for your oral health. In addition to having calcium that strengthens your teeth and bones, it also has a protein called casein. This protein counteracts the acids in your mouth produced after meals that can affect both the teeth and gums.
Snack on a piece of cheese, drink a glass of milk or eat some yogurt! Speaking of yogurt…
Gum disease is caused by certain strains of harmful bacteria. Since probiotic foods contain beneficial bacteria, they can help your body rebalance the bacteria in the mouth and reduce inflammation.
Yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are all good example of probiotic foods.
Fibrous Fruits & Vegetables
Fiber-rich foods, such as apples, carrots and celery, are wonderful for oral health because they stimulate salivary flow. Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth of plaque and food debris and also counteracts acids that could otherwise cause problems.
Many types of teas have beneficial compounds that reduce inflammation and keep your whole body healthy. Green tea, in particular, is great for your gum health!
You can drink it hot in the winter and iced in the summer – you’ll get all the benefits both ways.
Add some of these seven foods to your diet and your gums will thank you!
About the Author
At Flenniken Family Dentistry, each of the dentists understands the importance of healthy gums for oral health and overall quality of life. In addition to providing top-notch gum care, they also help their patients with lifestyle choices that affect the gums, like hygiene habits and diet. If you have any questions, they can be reached through their website or at (717) 249-7777.