When we think about how we eat and how that affects our oral health, we tend to focus on very recognizable sugars. Candy and soda seem to be the obvious culprits for cavities. And while that is all well and good, there are issues that arise with seemingly much more innocuous foods.
Tooth Decay and Diet
The primary reason oral health professionals caution against eating too many sweets and sugary foods is due to leftover particles in the recesses of your smile. Bacteria in the mouth feed upon these; the waste that they create is highly acidic, and it eats away at the enamel of the teeth.
We often think about this in terms of strictly cane sugars, or corn syrup. But any form of carbohydrate will be consumed by these bacteria.
A piece of bread or a glass of milk will operate in the exact same way. Think about that the next time you have your midnight snack!
Diet and Health
Overall nutrition affects many aspects of our health, both immediately apparent and more hidden. Nutrient deficiencies are part of these factors, something that we are not typically aware of. The body relies on an intake of certain vitamins and minerals in order to fight off infection.
If your body’s response to infection is delayed, you are more likely to develop periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. The gums may recede, exposing the root of the tooth.
As the gums form a protective barrier for your teeth, an infection is likely to develop within the tooth itself. This can lead to tooth loss, and even decay in the mandible (jaw bone).
Simple Nutrition Choices For Your Smile
The good news is that relatively easy nutritional decisions can help you protect your oral health. If your doctor has placed you on a specific plan due to disease or a physical condition, always speak with them before changing your diet.
Firstly, ensure that you are drinking enough water. It seems like that’s always the first suggestion, and it’s because it truly is helpful. In America, too often we reach for soda, an energy drink, or something else sugary and acidic. Even a latte is full of sugars that these bacteria thrive upon.
We also want to choose as balanced of a diet as we can. Plenty of fruits and vegetables are a must. And while we all love juices and smoothies, they concentrate the fruit sugars and remove the fiber content.
Furthermore, take care in brushing your teeth twice a day, and especially after you last eat in the evening. Leaving food particles in the mouth overnight allows those bacteria to roam free for 8 hours uninterrupted.
Have Further Questions?
If you have concerns with your smile, or would like to schedule a cleaning, give us a call! Dr. Tajik at Newhall Dental Arts in Newhall, CA, can be reached at (661)259-7760.