08 Feb Foods and Drinks That Improve Gum Health
Maintaining a healthy mouth isn’t just about keeping your teeth clean—you also need to take care of your gums. One simple way you can improve your gum health is by changing your diet. Let’s take a look at what types of foods and drinks are good for strong, healthy gums.
Five Foods to Eat for Good Gum Health
1: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Many essential nutrients that promote healthy gums can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables. For example, citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and helps it fight gum disease. And fiber-rich foods (like apples, carrots, and broccoli) increase your saliva flow, which helps remove food debris and bacteria that otherwise irritate your gums.
Cheese is a good source of calcium, a mineral that helps strengthen your teeth and the bones of your jaw. Strong teeth and a healthy jaw keep out the bacteria that cause gum disease. Poppy seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale) are all good sources of calcium as well.
Another dairy product that’s excellent for gum health is yogurt. The probiotics in yogurt are a type of good bacteria that help keep the harmful bacteria in your mouth under control. Eating yogurt every day could reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Just make sure to choose yogurts that have little to no added sugar to keep your teeth healthy. Or try eating some other probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi.
4: Fatty Fish
Salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish provide a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Because they are anti-inflammatory, omega-3s help keep gum disease at bay. You can also find omega-3s in nuts and seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts).
5: Sugar-Free Gum
Even though it’s not necessarily a food, sugar-free chewing gum can actually help keep your teeth and gums clean. Just make sure that your gum doesn’t have any sugar—prolonged exposure to sugar greatly increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Look for gum that has earned the ADA seal of acceptance and contains xylitol, an ingredient that helps kill bacteria and promote saliva production.
What to Drink for Healthier Gums
The best drink for healthy teeth and gums is water. Staying hydrated helps you produce enough saliva to flush away harmful bacteria and food debris between meals.
Milk is high in calcium, and as we mentioned above, calcium is an essential nutrient for gum health. If you’re lactose intolerant, look for calcium-fortified drinks like soy milk, almond milk, and orange juice instead.
Green tea is anti-inflammatory and can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Drinking green tea can lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and it won’t stain your teeth like coffee.
Foods and Drinks That Are Bad for Your Gums
While there are many foods and drinks that improve gum health, there are also plenty that can ruin it. Because the bacteria that cause plaque feed on sugar, it’s important to avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice, as well as sugary foods. Starchy foods like white bread and potato chips can also trigger a feeding frenzy for harmful bacteria. And if you have gum disease, it’s important to avoid acidic foods, because they can cause further irritation.
Preventing and Treating Gum Disease in Prescott
A healthy diet isn’t the only way to prevent gum disease. You also need good oral hygiene habits and regular visits to the dentist. At Prescott Dentistry, we can help you prevent gum disease with our thorough, gentle teeth cleanings. We can also spot the early warning signs and treat gum disease with ozone therapy and other methods before it gets worse. Call us at 928-445-1660 today to schedule an appointment.