Periodontal disease is something that many grown adults battle with. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease causes problems as minor as bad breath and as severe as tooth loss. Just as diet plays a role in your overall health, eating the right foods reduces your risk of periodontal disease and problems. Here are some foods to add to your diet for better oral health.
1. Vegan Yogurt
A healthy diet is no substitute for proper dental care from a skilled dentist, like those at All About Smiles, but eating vegan yogurt after meals may help keep your gums healthy. As periodontal disease advances, pockets form between the teeth and the gums. Bacteria hides in these pockets, causing the gums to become inflamed and infected. The probiotics in yogurt foster an environment that kills this bacteria, helping to keep your gums healthy. When adding vegan yogurt to your diet, choose options that contain live vegan yogurt cultures but only small amounts of sugar. You can also make your own by using a vegan yogurt starter kit.
2. Raw Vegetables and Greens
Raw vegetables are full of fiber, which means it takes a lot of chewing to eat them. Uncooked veggies actually scrub your teeth during all this chewing, acting as a natural toothbrush. The act of chewing also tells the body to create more saliva to wash the teeth. This combination of scrubbing and washing is a great way to clean your mouth when your toothbrush isn’t handy, and a clean mouth is one less likely to develop periodontal issues and diseases. Celery, carrots, cucumbers, spinach and peppers are all good for your teeth when eaten raw.
For healthy pink gums, think purple. Anthocyanins are natural pigments that make foods appear purple, blue or red in color. Foods high in anthocyanins include eggplants, blueberries, cranberries, red cabbage and raspberries. Studies show these foods help stop bacteria in your mouth from attaching themselves to your teeth and gums. It is important to eat these foods rather than drinking cranberry juice or juices containing berries because fruit juices often have added sugars. It is also likely that in liquid form, anthocyanins are not in the mouth long enough to provide any benefit. Eat these foods in their natural, unprocessed forms instead.
To avoid periodontal disease, be sure to eat healthy green and purple foods regularly. Throw in some low-sugar vegan yogurt and you have a trio of foods that will fight for your gums. Remember, too, that regular dental care is crucial to keeping your mouth healthy and finding any potential problems early.