Avoid These Foods To Protect Your Gums

It’s very important to maintain healthy gums. With early-stage periodontal disease, known as gingivitis, gums can become swollen and red, and may bleed. If gingivitis is left untreated, it becomes periodontal disease. When it comes to diet and dental health, most people think of sugar first; even kids know that “sugar rots your teeth.” But, when it comes to periodontal disease and gum health, there are lesser-known villains. The bacteria in plaque trigger an inflammatory response that can lead to gum disease. In that article, we offer some tips on ways you can prevent gum disease and shed some light on the foods that can affect you.

What is Periodontal Disease:

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums, the soft tissues in your mouth that surround your teeth and jawbone. This infection is caused by harmful bacteria housed in plaque, a soft & sticky film that builds on our teeth every day. Given the severity and the fact that almost half of all adults over the age of 30 have some form of it, periodontal disease is one of the biggest threats to dental health.


Foods to Avoid:

1. White Bread: The starches in bread are easily broken down into sugar, making it bad for your teeth. In addition, that sugar is now transformed into a paste-like substance that easily gets stuck between teeth allowing a feeding frenzy for bacteria.
2. Citrus Fruits: While citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and known to have health benefits, their acidic nature can be rough on tooth enamel. We definitely don’t want to say you shouldn’t eat these fruits. Instead, try rinsing your mouth afterward to lessen the acidity.
3. Sports Drinks: Many people consider sports drinks healthier alternatives to soda and beneficial during workouts. However, when it comes to your oral health, sports drinks are rarely a good option. As we read above, both sugars and acids are harmful to your teeth, and many sports drinks contain high levels of both. 
4. Soda: With soda being high in sugar and acid, it falls in the same bracket as sports drinks – a big “no-no” for your teeth. In addition, the caffeine in soda can cause dry mouth, meaning you have less saliva available to wash away bacteria.
5. Alcohol: As far as oral health is concerned, alcohol can increase the risk of getting oral cancer, and plays a large role in periodontal disease. Drinking alcohol can dry out your mouth which, as we read earlier, means you have less defense against the bacteria in your mouth. 
6. Sticky/Chewy Candies: Candy = Sugar and sticky candy means sugar that gets stuck to your teeth for bacteria to feed on. 
Often, we consider our physical health when deciding what to eat. However, remember that your mouth is the first destination; and most of the foods that you’re wary about putting in your body will also have a significant impact on your oral health. We know it’s hard to maintain a nutritious diet all of the time but being conscious of what you eat and drink doesn’t mean you have to completely give up the foods you love. Just do your best to mitigate the damage by rinsing after you eat or drink.
Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about gum disease or your overall oral health. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our practice.

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