Poor eating habits can give way to a myriad of dental and gum-related problems. If you want to maintain a healthy smile and avoid the debilitating problem of missing teeth and wider dental health problems related to oral health, the foods and drinks you consume need to be considered.
In this blog, we’ll discuss:
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and in a lot of cases, it’s completely avoidable. Whilst smoking is a significant cause of gum disease, a poor diet also gives way to gum disease-related symptoms. If your diet is high in sweetened fruit drinks and sugary foods, and you then fail to visit the hygienist regularly to have plaque and tartar build-up removed from your gum line, you could end up with the first signs of gum disease, such as gum recession, inflammation, and bleeding gums.
The next culprit responsible for wreaking havoc on your teeth: tooth decay. Tooth decay is effectively tooth rot, occurring when a tooth sustains a cavity (a hole). This happens when the acids within plaque remove the essential minerals in your tooth’s protective outer coating: tooth enamel. Without this armour intact, small openings occur, allowing acids to attack the living tissues within a tooth. This is when treatment like fillings, or even a root canal may be necessary to protect the tooth from failing.
In today’s day and age, the majority of people in England understand the harmful effects sugar has on their teeth. However, the effect of acidic food is not as widely understood. Many acid foods that destroy your tooth enamel are actually considered to be ‘healthy’, such as citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and limes, and foods such as plums, berries and tomatoes. Here at Innovadent, we see many patients who did not fully understand the effects a high acid diet was having on their teeth. Acidic foods have a low pH level, which destroys your tooth enamel, which is why dentists are always advocating for a diet that contains more alkaline foods- dairy products like cheese, and leafy greens, for example.
Continuing to eat a diet high in acids will eventually start the following chain reaction:
If you’re looking for some tailored dietary advice to maintain the health your enamel, this is something we can help with. Remember, once your enamel is compromised, it will not grow back, which is why prevention is such an important world when discussing anything tooth-related.
There has been significant research into the link between a poor diet and poor wider health, namely heart disease and gum disease. When plaque is left to access the area underneath the gum line, it launches an attack on the bone. Once it reaches this level, it can access the bloodstream, causing severe health problems including heart disease, and even heart attacks. The long-term benefits of enjoying a healthy diet really are one of your best defences against such problems, which are difficult to cure once they strike. The accumulation of plaque has also been strongly linked with neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, which is currently still being investigated.
Enjoying a balanced diet is the first step to improving your dental health. Avoid processed foods as much as you can, as many processed food portions exceed your RDA of sugar for the day (proving that the food industry still isn’t fit for purpose…. alas). Protein-rich foods contain phosphorous, a tooth-loving mineral that is vital for fortifying teeth and your jawbone. When combined with Vitamin D and calcium, phosphorous really thrives, delivering an even. more beneficial health kick. Raw vegetables like spinach are ideal for stimulating saliva production and washing away the effect sugary treats have on the biofilm build-up on your teeth.
Unfortunately, building tooth enamel is not possible, though who knows, perhaps in the future this may occur, as there is no-going research into using shark stem cells to do so.
This doesn’t mean we can’t reverse the damage an acid attack has had on your natural teeth. We can help you achieve a healthy mouth again by creating restorations such as crowns to help fit cavities, whilst composite bonding can be used to build up an area of tooth enamel that has started to become translucent as a result of food choices. We can also teach you the importance of good dental health, and how this links in with your diet. For example, you should brush your teeth half an hour after eating, to ensure your tooth enamel has a chance to remineralise before you expose them to acid attacks. You can also maintain healthy teeth by using dental aids like floss to remove food particles, which will lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Eating healthy foods is not only beneficial for your teeth and body, but for your mental wellbeing too. You will never regret healthy eating, and it will reduce the plaque bacteria in the mouth that would otherwise go on to not only destroy your teeth, but make your teeth look dull and tired in their appearance.
Contact Innovadent, and find out which food and drink in your diet that might be damaging your teeth and general health.Back to Blog
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