With Easter quickly approaching, you may already be reliving previous years of celebrating with sugar highs, rationing piles of candy, and the inevitable tantrum from a little too much excitement....
Your gums are just as vital to care for as your teeth. Not only do they keep your teeth secure, but they also protect your oral bones and battle against bacteria on a daily basis. Over half of Americans have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, if caught early, gum disease progression can be stopped, and the damaged can be reversed.
The best way to heal gum disease and to keep your gums healthy is through your diet. These 10 superfoods are sure to keep your gums in great shape.
Vegetables like kale and spinach are full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Specifically, they hold vitamin C, which boosts the production of red blood cells while reducing inflammation. Both of these benefits aid in helping your gums fight back against irritation and gum disease. Thanks to their high fiber content, leafy greens also require more chewing which creates more saliva. Flush out food particles, bacteria, and plaque that may be sticking to your teeth near the gum line just by snacking the smart way.
Research has shown that the antioxidants found in green tea can help stave off inflammation in the body. Green tea has specific antioxidants called catechins which help gums fight back against inflammation caused by oral bacteria. Drinking one cup of green tea daily can give your gums the healthy boost they need to fight back.
High in vitamin C, red and green peppers are a great addition to a gum disease-fighting diet. One cup of red bell peppers contains over 300% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C. Green peppers contain over 200%, meaning both red and green peppers have more vitamin C than an orange.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of many nutrients but are specifically recommended for their beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene is an essential nutrient in fighting gum disease. It reduces inflammation and provides your body with the elements it needs to create vitamin A. Sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Onions have been proven to be a fantastic food for healthy gums because of their ability to neutralize oral bacteria. Microbial properties found in onions can target the most common types of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. Try incorporating onions into your meals as salad toppers, adding them to your sandwich or hamburger, or as a flavor boost in your favorite soup.
Fight back against plaque-building bacteria in the mouth with lentinan; an antibacterial compound found in shiitake mushrooms. This type of bacteria breeds in hard to reach places in the mouth such as between the teeth and along the gum line. It can also cause irritation and possibly lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Try adding shiitake mushrooms into your meals to experience the benefits for yourself.
Vegetables that are very crunchy are excellent at scraping away stuck-on food and plaque from your teeth. The hard bits of foods like celery and carrots are able to get in-between teeth and into tooth crevices to help keep your mouth clean between brushings. Crunchy vegetables also happen to be high in fiber, which is known to generate saliva. Flush your mouth of bacteria by adding these foods to your daily diet.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
Dairy products are great for teeth because they are high in calcium, which strengthens bones. The casein protein naturally found in most dairy products also helps to neutralize oral acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Include a healthy amount of dairy into your daily diet by drinking a cup of milk each day, or by eating dairy-filled snacks like cheese or yogurt.
The best weapon against gum disease is knowledge. Knowing how to prevent gum disease from happening, and what to do if it happens to you is the first step. If you notice your gums looking different than they usually do, schedule an exam with Dr. Baudean DDS today.