If you’re wondering how to keep your gums healthy and reduce the risk of disease, your diet is a good place to start.
We list food and drinks you should avoid to keep gums healthy in our latest post.
We’ll also look at healthy food for gums and teeth to give you the full picture for great oral hygiene.
The importance of healthy gums
Keeping gums healthy is as important as keeping your teeth clean. Gum disease can result in a range of symptoms, from inflamed gums right through to tooth loss.
There’s also a strong link between gum disease and serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, dementia and complications in pregnancy.
These are two good reasons to keep your gum healthy. You can start by knowing which food and drinks to avoid.
What to avoid for healthy gums
- Food and drink high in sugar: This one is obvious, but so important! Try to cut down on sugary snacks and drinks. Instead, introduce more fruit into your diet so you can get a taste of something sweet from their natural sugars.
- Acidic food and drink: Anything acidic can irritate your gums, causing them to become inflamed and recede. Highly acidic items include citrus fruits, fruit juices, fizzy drinks, jam, jelly and vinegar.
- Anything that dries out your mouth: Because saliva counteracts bacteria, which can cause gum disease, anything that dries out your mouth is going to be harmful. For this reason, try to avoid drinking too much alcohol or coffee or consuming starchy food like bread.
Food and drink for healthy gums
Add more of these foods and drinks to your diet to promote healthy gums and teeth:
- Nuts and seeds, including macadamia nuts, pistachios and sesame seeds
- Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and herring
- Grass-fed beef, which is high in collagen, to make up for collagen loss in gum disease
- Broccoli contains a cocktail of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium, to keep your gums healthy.
- Sweet potatoes have high levels of beta-carotene, which reduces inflammation.
- Green tea is high in catechins, compounds that deter bacteria and reduce the risk of gum inflammation.
- Probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kefir support the friendly bacteria in your mouth and reduce inflammation.
- Cacao is full of health-promoting compounds, including ones that fight plaque and harden enamel. Choose raw chocolate with 70% cacao content for maximum impact.
What else can I do to keep my gums healthy?
You can do the following to keep your gums healthy:
- Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and rinse with mouthwash afterwards.
- Floss your teeth once a day.
- Visit your dentist regularly for a check-up.
- If you notice signs like swollen, bright-red, bleeding or receding gums, consult your dentist.
Worried about your gums? Find a dentist in Te Atatu
If you have concerns about your gums or any other aspect of your oral health, make an appointment to see your dentist.
For a dentist local to Te Atatu, choose the team at Opal Dental. We’re experienced in all aspects of oral care, including gum issues, and would love to see you in our surgery!
Contact us to make an appointment to assess your gum health or simply for a check-up. We’re here to provide a whole range of services for all the family, so don’t hesitate to reach out.