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Is There A Connection Between Diet And Dental Health?

dentist holding a mouth mirror in front of patient's mouth

Everything we eat and drink can affect the health of our teeth and gums in a major way. Tooth decay is a diet-related condition caused when sugars contained in what we eat and drink are consumed by bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria produce the acids responsible for attacking the outer layer of our teeth, resulting in cavities. It is therefore obvious that our eating habits have a major role to play when it comes to the health of our teeth and gums.

How are Diet and Dental Health Connected?

What you choose to eat and drink and how often you do so can affect your general dental health. Tooth decay occurs when plaque comes into contact with sugars in the mouth and produces acid that attacks your teeth. If you consume too many foods that contain sugar such as sweetened fruit juice, sugar-containing sodas, and sweet snacks, you are putting yourself at major risk for tooth decay. This is particularly true for children. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in most countries. The good news is that tooth decay is an entirely preventable disease.

In addition to limiting sugar, a  nutritious, balanced diet is of paramount importance for good dental health. If your diet is lacking in certain important nutrients the tissues in your mouth will find it difficult to fight off an infection that often leads to gum disease. Severe gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is believed to be potentially more severe and progresses faster in individuals who suffer from poor nutrition.

Also read: Gum Disease Causes And Treatment

What Foods are Best for Good Dental Health?

Keeping in mind that a balanced diet is important, here are some suggested foods for good dental health:

  • Foods rich in fibre help keep teeth and gums clean. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are fibre-rich.
  • Dairy products such as milk, unsweetened plain yoghurt, and cheese produce saliva in the mouth that helps to counteract bacterial activity.
  • Unsweetened green and herbal teas.
  • Sugarless snacks and chewing gum.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and celery are full of vitamin C that help protect your gums and mouth tissue from bacterial infection and cell damage.

Also read: What Foods Help Strengthen Teeth? 

If you would like to know more about how to protect your teeth from tooth decay and promote overall dental health, contact one of our friendly dental practitioners at Rockingham Dental Centre who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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