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Does your diet play a role in your oral health?‍
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BY Canyon West Dental

It’s well known that one’s eating habits affect their physical as well as mental fitness, but it also helps prevent gum diseases and tooth decay. Decay happens when teeth and the hard tissues in your mouth get slowly broken down by acid released by oral bacteria. Some kinds of food have much higher levels of bacteria that can promote oral cavities. 

Bad eating habits aren’t a direct cause of gum disease, but it can increase the rate at which gum disease can spread. Poor nutrition doesn’t only affect our immune system, but further increases the risk of disorders. People with a weak immune system are prone to periodontal diseases. Additionally, researchers have identified a link between oral health and systemic conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

Eating a balanced diet improves your dental health, but will also greatly reduce the risk of many other ailments. 

A balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle

Moderation and variety are necessary for a well-balanced diet. Dieticians recommend prepping meals that consist of foods from all five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy, and meat. There are widely available alternatives for people pursuing a vegan lifestyle that match the nutritional value of some of the previously mentioned foods. A healthy dose of fiber and vitamin-rich foods go a long way. 

Saliva helps in protecting both hard and soft oral tissues, so it is highly recommended to keep yourself hydrated. If you usually have a dry mouth, use gum to stimulate saliva. Foods that are especially sticky, or contain sugar or starches, can accelerate tooth decay. When you snack, avoid cakes and candies, and instead choose foods like nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, or cheese. When you eat fermentable carbs, like crackers, cookies, and chips, eat them with your meal. Combinations of foods neutralize the acids in the mouth and slow down tooth decay. And when you do fulfill your occasional craving for sugar, be sure to brush and floss well afterward. 

How can your dentist help you understand nutrition?

Conditions like tooth loss, pain, or joint dysfunction can impede proper chewing and are common in older adults, people with restrictive diets, and those undergoing medical treatment. These people can often find it difficult to eat balanced meals and care for their nutrition, at a time when it would be particularly critical. Reach out to Canyon West Dental to talk about the steps you can take for yourself or for somebody you know in these circumstances. A dental health professional should be able to help by suggesting a balanced diet that is healthy for your teeth and your overall health. 

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