Two of the most common diseases in society today are periodontal disease and tooth decay. Both of these diseases can be prevented by simply changing the way you eat. Decay is caused by acid products from bacteria in the mouth destroying hard tissues. These bacteria are more prevalent in certain types of foods. The link between periodontal disease and poor nutrition is also strong, and many researchers believe periodontal disease progresses faster and has a greater impact in patients with poor diets lacking in nutrients.
In addition, poor nutrition weakens the immune system as a whole, making you more susceptible to a variety of disorders. Current research shows a correlation between oral health and a number of systemic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The bottom line – eating a balanced diet with high fiber and vitamin intake may not only improve your dental health but your overall health as well.
Changing Your Diet to Promote Better Oral Health
A well-balanced diet can promote better oral health. The American Dietic Association and the National Institutes of Health make recommendations as to which foods to eat. Don’t follow fad diets that limit entire food groups as these can result in vitamin deficiencies. Try to keep your mouth moist at all times by drinking lots of water – saliva protects your teeth and gums. If your mouth is dry, use sugarless gum or candy to stimulate saliva. Let your dentist know about your dry mouth, as we may have other products that can help.
The foods that cling to your teeth are the ones that have the strongest link to tooth decay. When you snack, avoid sweet, sticky, sugary foods like candy but instead choose foods like nuts, raw vegetables, cheese, and sugarless candy or gum. When you eat cookies, crackers or chips, eat them as part of a whole meal, rather than by themselves. Combining different foods can neutralize acids in the mouth and inhibit tooth decay.
Feeding the People
Dr. Egert of Affinity Dental Associates supports Feeding the People. Feeding the People’s mission is to develop and implement a research-based model of nutrition-related in-home care for under-served, low-income diabetics in order to reduce the incidence of diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses in Maryland. Feeding the People provides home-delivered meals, nutrition education, and intensive, ongoing support for low-income diabetics in the Baltimore area.
Have concerns about nutrition and dental health? Contact us here or call us at 410-719-7900.