Being a dentist for almost 30 years, I always tell my patients about how important is the diet to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Probably you heard the saying that the mouth is the mirror of the health of your body.
And everyone knows that sugar containing food or beverages cause development of cavities in your teeth. What about gums? Sugar (and refined carbohydrates that are converted in the body to sugars) is causing chronic inflammation in your body that can lead to heart disease, diabetis or cancer and gum disease. By eliminating sugar from your diet you can decrease of development of many diseases and improve the quality of your life!
If you have “sweet tooth” you can use xylitol instead of regular sugar. Xylitol is natural sweetener derived from birch tree and other sources. Xylitol will not cause cavity development and actually can prevent or even remineralize enamel (reverse cavity progress). It does not have any side effects (unlike artificial sweeteners) and it tastes good.
Is your diet well balanced or is lacking major nutrients and vitamins?
According to multiple scientific studies about 75% of US population is defficient in vitamin D (or sunshine vitamin). Vitamin D plays important role not only in absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus-which are important elements for the health of our teeth and gums, but it participates in many crucial processes in our body. Again, new studies show Vitamin D deficiency can be linked to increased risk of cancer, diabetis, heart disease. I recommend to my patients taking 5000IU of vitamin D3 daily. Good sources of D vitamin are: fish (salmon, sardines, cod), cod liver, egg yolk.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid can not be produced by your body, so you can receive it only by eating a lot of fruits and vegatables. It is very important element for the health of our teeth and gums because vit. C participates in formation of collagen, it is strong antioxidant. Vitamin C deficiency will cause gum bleeding, gum swelling and inflammation leading to loose teeth. One more interesting fact: smoking and excessive alcohol intake will reduce absorption of vitamin C in your body. What can you eat in order to have suficient amount of vitamin C? Berries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, pineapples, asparagus, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, etc. Also it is advisable to supplement with 1000mg or more of ascorbic acid for optimal health.
B vitamins are also important for the health of our mouth. If you experience cracked lips or cracks in the corners of your mouth, inflammation or burning inside the mouth and tongue you might have vita-min B2 (Riboflavin) or Folate (Folic acid ) deficiency. Reduced level of Folate can elevate the level of Homocysteine (mark of body inflammation) that leads to increased risk of heart disease development. Foods that are rich in folate: dark green vegatables, beens, cauliflower, cabbage, liver.
Eat healthy, be healthy and see your dentist regularly!