5 Foods That Improve Gum Health
You probably already know that eating healthy foods can lower your risk of cavities and gum disease, leading to better dental health. However, did you know that there are many foods with nutrients that specifically improve the health of your gums?
At Lifetime Family Dental, we want to help you maintain a beautiful smile with a variety of dental services and by sharing tips for healthy teeth and gums. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of healthy gums and which foods are good for gum health.
Why Are Healthy Gums Important?
Having healthy gums is important to your overall oral health because your gums help support your teeth. Unhealthy gums due to poor oral hygiene and tooth decay can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which can affect your gums, teeth, jaw, and even the rest of your body.
Healthy gums are pink, firm, and do not bleed when you brush or floss gently. Gum disease is an infection that causes redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding, and/or receding gums. If you notice any signs of gum disease, make an appointment for treatment right away. Gum disease can progress very quickly, leading to severe symptoms like tooth loss.
Luckily, there are many ways you can keep gum disease at bay and improve your gum health at home. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and eating a healthy diet are some of the best ways to fight gum disease. Don’t forget to keep up with your dental appointments as well to ensure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.
Add These Five Foods to Your Diet to Improve Gum Health
1: Fruits and Vegetables
For healthier gums, look for fresh fruits and veggies that are high in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli. Vitamin C promotes healthy blood vessels and tissue formation, leading to stronger, healthier gums. Vitamin C also boosts your immune system, helping your body fight off gum disease and other infections.
Fruits and vegetables that are a good source of fiber are also a good choice for gum health. Raspberries, pears, and apples all have lots of fiber, and so do vegetables like green peas, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Eating fiber increases saliva production, helping your mouth eliminate food particles and bacteria from your teeth and gums. Encouraging healthy saliva flow helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
2: Dairy Products
Dairy products that are high in calcium can help build strong bones and teeth. Strong, healthy teeth have a lower risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, which helps your gums stay healthy. Recent studies have shown that the live probiotics in yogurt can have a positive effect on gum health, and even lower your risk for gum disease.
3: Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of calcium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s improve your immune system, so your mouth can fight the bacteria that cause gum disease. Flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also find omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon. Almonds, brazil nuts, and sesame seeds are good sources of calcium. Chia seeds, almonds, and pistachios are all fiber-rich nuts and seeds.
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help prevent gum disease. Gum inflammation starts when bacteria attack your teeth and gums and eventually, that inflammation can lead to gum disease. Try drinking ginger tea to reduce your risk of periodontal (gum) disease.
Although it’s not a food, water is a very important part of a diet that promotes healthy teeth and gums. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent dry mouth and keep your teeth clean. When you have a dry mouth, your body can’t produce enough saliva to rid your mouth of harmful bacteria. Dry mouth leads to plaque buildup and increases your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental Services for Healthy Gums in Gilbert, Arizona
Staying hydrated and eating healthy foods aren’t the only ways to improve your gum health. You also need to practice good oral hygiene and to get your teeth cleaned twice a year. At Lifetime Family Dental, we provide gentle teeth cleanings as well as a wide range of preventative and restorative dental services for people in and around Gilbert. If you’re due for a cleaning, give us a call at 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/1/2022). Photo by Annemarie Grudën on Unsplash