How Good Nutrition Affects Your Dental Health
Restorative dentistry treatments can help reverse dental damage, improving oral health and the smile's appearance.
Although treatments are available, preventing dental problems is best for oral health. Most people understand the importance of oral hygiene, but are surprised to learn that the foods they eat and drink can also impact dental health.
At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, Dr. Bruce Wilderman explains how good nutrition affects dental health to patients our patients in the Philadelphia, PA area. For more information, we invite you to schedule a consultation.
What You Eat Can Impact Oral Health
What we choose to eat can impact our health in many ways. Diets that are high in sugar can cause health problems, like fatigue and obesity.
A poor diet can also impact oral health, especially with diets that are high in sugary foods. This can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Sugary Foods Increase the Risk of Tooth Decay
Poor nutrition can impact oral health, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. One of the biggest culprits of poor nutrition is sugary foods. Foods high in sugar, like candies, cookies, and other sweets, offer little nutritional value but can damage the teeth.
Tooth decay is more likely in people with diets high in sugar due to the fact that bacteria within plaque feed off of sugar and excrete acid that can erode dental enamel.
A diet lacking proper nutrition may also make it difficult to fight infection. In regard to oral health, this can lead to gum disease, an infection of the gum tissue that can lead to tooth loss.
Good Nutrition Is Good for Dental Health
Diets high in sugar can increase plaque within the mouth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding sugary foods can help protect oral health.
Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats are naturally lower in sugar than most junk foods, like cookies, cakes, and sodas.
Additionally, healthy, nutritious foods may help keep the immune system strong so the body is better able to fight infections, including gum disease.
Eating healthy foods is just one component of good nutrition. The other component is limiting snacks between meals. Frequent snacking can cause more plaque to form on the teeth throughout the day.
Also, when snacking, less saliva is often produced than when eating full meals. Saliva helps wash away foods and acids from the teeth.
Choosing Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods can help reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, and of course, it's also beneficial for overall health. When planning meals and snacks, look for whole foods such as:
- Whole grains
- Lean meats
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- Drink mostly water
Don't Neglect Oral Health
Of course, a healthy diet alone is not enough to protect oral health. Good oral hygiene habits are also essential to preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
As part of a good oral hygiene routine, the teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and flossed daily. It's also important to schedule routine dental exams to prevent oral health problems from occurring or catch them early if they do occur.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about protecting your oral health, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilderman by calling our staff at (215) 340-1199 today.