Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat a healthier, more balanced diet? Here’s another incentive for you – adding certain foods and drinks to your meal plan can help fight off gum disease. Read on to find out what to put on your next shopping list for peak oral health throughout 2020.
It might not be great for your breath, but raw onion has antimicrobial properties that neutralizes oral bacteria, reducing your risk of gum disease. There are numerous ways to incorporate it into your diet – add a few slices to salads, burgers, or sandwiches or whip up a tasty pico de gallo salsa for a healthy snack. Just make sure you keep a pack of sugar-free gum on hand if you’re expecting company.
Red and green peppers
Ask anyone which foods contain the most vitamin C and they’ll probably answer ‘orange,’ but the truth is that peppers are packed with even more of the gum-friendly vitamin. A cup of chopped red pepper contains nearly three times more vitamin C than an orange – more than 300% of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties that protect against gum disease, as well as helping to build enamel by improving mineral density. If you’re not a fan of peppers, other foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, broccoli, and kale.
Green tea contains antioxidants that help to fight inflammation in the body. One specific type of antioxidant – catechins – have shown to be effective in helping gums fight inflammation caused by one of the types of oral bacteria responsible for gum disease. A study of 940 Japanese men found an inverse association between green tea consumption and periodontal disease, suggesting that it’s worth adding to your shopping list.
A gum-friendly diet doesn’t mean cutting out all carbohydrates – sweet potatoes not only make a tasty alternative to their regular counterparts, they are full of beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A to reduce inflammation and maintain the soft tissue of the gums. Vitamin A is also vital for maintaining keratin – a protein that helps to form tooth enamel.
Cheese, milk, and yogurt
Everyone knows that dairy products contain calcium, which helps to strengthen teeth and bones, but there’s another reason that they’re particularly good for gum health. Most dairy products also contain a protein called casein, which helps to neutralise the harmful acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. Researchers have found that consuming 55 grams or more of yogurt or lactic acid drinks each day may be particularly beneficial for gum health.
To keep your gums in top condition throughout 2020, make sure you book a bi-annual appointment with your dental hygienist. At Cliftonville, we take dental hygiene very seriously and have invested in sophisticated technology called the Florida Probe System to detect and diagnose gum disease. This helps us create a personalised treatment plan to address problems before they become more serious.
Book your next appointment with one of our friendly team members today.