- Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent oral problems patients face
- It’s important to monitor your sugar intake
- Patients with poor diets that lack certain nutrients may experience frequent mouth infections
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent oral problems patients face. Tooth decay is directly related to your food choices and eating habits. When bacteria and sugar meet in your mouth, they produce an acid which attacks your teeth, leading to eventual tooth decay.
It’s important to monitor your sugar intake. Most foods contain some type of sugar. Even healthy foods such as vegetables and dairy products have a type of sugar in them. Fortunately, these foods contain natural sugars and offer other important nutrients that your body needs to function well. Processed foods and foods containing high levels of sugar such as sweetened fruit drinks, sodas, and candies, offer little nutritional value. In fact, it’s a popular and scientifically-proven belief that these types of foods do more harm than good. This is especially true when it comes to your teeth.
Eating a nutritious diet is not only important for your overall health, it is important for your oral health. Patients with poor diets that lack certain nutrients may experience frequent mouth infections and are considered at a higher risk of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss, and a poor diet can cause the disease to progress more quickly and be more severe.
Maintaining a balanced diet can be easy. Make sure you eat a variety of foods with as little added sugar as possible. Eating food as part of meal will cause less harm than snacking. When you eat a full meal, your saliva glands are turned on and working hard to eliminate or counteract the acid produced by the bacteria and sugar. Try not to snack too often and if you do snack, choose nutritious foods like yogurt or a piece of fruit.
The ADA (American Dental Association) suggests that a balanced diet includes:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains, preferably whole grain such as whole wheat bread and brown rice
- Dairy, look for low-fat selections
- Lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, beef, eggs, legumes, and beans
While a healthy, well-balanced diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth, it’s also important to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste or as directed by your dentist. Floss regularly and visit your dentist every six months. You can speak with your dentist to learn more about different dietary suggestions that help support a healthy mouth.