Your smile is one of your best assets. But missing teeth, bleeding gums, bad breath, and other symptoms of gum disease can seriously diminish your desire to smile. Gum disease affects more than just your teeth and gums, though. It can also lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly are key factors in keeping gum disease at bay. But did you know that what you eat in your diet can make a difference, too?
Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic inflammation produced in response to bacteria in the gums. Numerous studies have concluded that an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation, inhibit harmful bacteria, and heal the gums. If you want to prevent or reverse gum disease, make sure you eat these foods:
A natural compound found in blueberries helps block molecular pathways involved in inflammation, which contributes to gum disease. The same compound also reduces the formation of bacteria.
Research has shown that green tea interferes with the body’s inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria. And one study that analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men found lower instances of gum disease in those who regularly drank green tea.
The long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other fatty fish have anti-inflammatory effects on the body and have been proven to reduce periodontitis.
Cauliflower and Broccoli
A deficiency of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been found in patients with gum disease. Researchers have found that increasing levels of CoQ10 can help suppress the associated inflammation and periodontal bacteria. Foods containing higher levels of CoQ10 include cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, peanuts, soybeans, lentils, trout, herring, and mackerel.
The juices in raw onions can kill several different strains of bacteria, including those that lead to gum disease.
Shiitake mushrooms contain a polysaccharide called lentinan, which attacks harmful bacteria while leaving good bacteria alone. Shiitake mushrooms also help to reduce inflammation.
Guavas and Strawberries
Gum disease is associated with low levels of vitamin C, so it’s important to eat foods that contain it in abundance. The high concentration of vitamin C in guavas, strawberries, oranges and other citrus fruits helps support the gum lining and protects against periodontal disease. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in collagen production, and can help repair damaged gums.
Your Gums Are the Foundation of Your Smile
The foods you eat can make a significant difference in your oral health, but they are not a substitute for consistent brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, painful or swollen gums, bad breath, or loose teeth, it’s important that you consult a dental practitioner who can help optimize your oral health in order to prevent more serious complications from developing.
At San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we strive for personalized patient care, and we’re committed to providing you with high quality treatment in a comfortable and friendly environment.
For more information on our services or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 619-543-0905 today.