Many people assume that cavities are the leading cause of tooth loss, but did you know that it’s actually gum disease? In fact, perfectly healthy teeth that have never had a cavity can become loose and fall out if they don’t have adequate gum support to keep them in place. In addition, gum disease has been found to increase the risk of many serious health conditions. Fortunately, along with good oral hygiene habits and regular checkups with a dentist, there are many foods you can add to your diet that will contribute to good gum health. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of your gums and which foods will keep them in good shape!
Why Does Your Gum Health Matter?
Gums are the foundation of a healthy smile because they support the teeth. Not to mention that, in recent years, researchers have found overwhelming evidence that gum disease increases the risk for all of the following:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Some cancers
- Pregnancy complications
At one time, it may have sounded like a stretch to say that flossing could save your life, but, in light of this new research, it may not be a stretch after all!
What Foods Can You Eat To Improve Gum Health?
Adding the following foods to your diet will contribute to healthy gums and a healthy body:
- Apples, Carrots & Celery – The crunch and fiber content of these foods stimulate salivary flow and help clean the teeth and gums. They’re a great snack between meals.
- Dairy – Dairy foods contain a protein called casein that neutralizes acids in the mouth before they can damage the teeth and gums. Plain (sugar-free) yogurt is especially helpful because it has beneficial bacteria.
- Green Tea – Green tea is full of antioxidants that will reduce inflammation in your gums and your entire body.
- Leafy Greens – Greens have a wide array of vitamins and minerals that your gums need to be healthy. Plus, you’ll get additional benefits from the fiber content.
- Onions and Shitake Mushrooms – These foods have chemical compounds that counteract bacteria in the mouth that contribute to both gum problems and cavities.
Many health conditions respond well to a multi-pronged treatment approach, and gum disease is no different. Combining a healthy diet with professional gum therapy and good oral hygiene is a great way to treat this common condition!
About the Author
Dr. Chris Long is an award-winning family dentist with 15 years of experience. He’s dedicated to helping his patients improve their health in every way and enjoys educating people on the importance of gum health and how to improve it. If you have any questions about your gums, he can be contacted via his website.