The relationship between diet and gum health

The relationship between diet and gum health The Priors Dental Practice Penkridge Stafford Staffordshire

Mild cases of Gum disease or Periodontal disease can be treated and their affects can be reversed if you notice the signs early. However, severe cases of gum disease often cannot be treated and may result in tooth loss. To prevent the cause of periodontal disease or reverse its affects, it’s imperative you keep on top of your oral hygiene. Here our latest article looks at the relationship between diet and gum health.

Your diet has an impact on reducing gum disease – foods and beverages high in sugar increase your likelihood, whereas foods and beverages containing less sugar and more vitamins such as vitamin C and D help with prevention.

Calcium is known to help build strong and healthy teeth, although Calcium needs Phosphorus to maximise its strengthening benefits. It’s important for children to have an adequate calcium and phosphorus to help them form a hard structure whilst their teeth are growing.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps you maintain healthy gums, vitamin A is also a key nutrient in keeping your gums healthy as well as building tooth enamel. Vitamin D is important for your diet as it doesn’t only boost mineral density but also helps absorb, carry and deposit Calcium through the bones that support your teeth. Without vitamin D you are more likely to suffer from a calcium deficiency, gum disease and/or tooth decay.

What vitamins and nutrients help reduce the affects of gum disease?

A healthy body naturally fights gum disease. There are however some nutrients that are especially effective. Below is a list of nutrients needed to help fight periodontal disease. It is recommended to increase your intake of each of these important nutrients if you want to tackle gum disease. To reduce the impact of gum disease you’ll want to starve the bad bacteria by eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates.

  • Co-enzyme Q10 this is an antioxidant found throughout the body and needed for proper cell function. Studies have found that people with sufficient CoQ10 are less likely to have gum disease.
  • Collagen – When you have gum disease, your gums will reorganise the tissue makeup to deal with the inflammation – this results in collagen degradation. To combat this, you’ll need to eat foods with lots of Collagen.
  • Catechins – These are disease fighting phenols and antioxidants. Catechins have shown to be effective in treating gum disease through inhibiting harmful bacteria and preventing gum inflammation.
  • Vitamin C – Studies have found that gum disease is associated with low Vitamin C levels. By increasing your Vitamin C intake, you can boost your immune system so it can fight the disease causing bacteria and help regenerate your gums. Additionally, you need Vitamin C for collagen maturation, which helps keep the periodontal ligament and other tissues healthy.
  • Beta Carotene – Studies have found eating foods high in beta-carotene help those with gum disease heal better. Beta carotene is a provitamin your body turns into Vitamin A, which reduces inflammation.
  • Omega-3s – Omega-3s are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and our body’s need them for a healthy immune system. One study found that omega-3 intake was inversely associated with gum disease.

 

What foods are high in vitamins and nutrients?

  • Nuts and seeds high in omega 3s – These include macadamia nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds. Omega-3s are great for you because they are anti-inflammatory but also have an inverse relationship with gum disease. These nuts are great sources of nutrients as well.
  • Salmon or other fatty fish – Oily fish such a salmon, herring, and mackerel are great sources of nutrients and are high in omega-3s. Due to their oil content, they have anti-inflammatory effects on the body and are great for the immune system.
  • Cacao – Cacao is also high in disease-fighting catechins, which help stop gum disease. Cacao is great for your teeth overall because it fights cavities, plaque, and tooth decay.
  • Red and green bell peppers – High in Vitamin C, red and green bell peppers are a great addition to a gum disease fighting diet. One cup of red bell peppers contains over 300% of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C. While green bell peppers contain over 200% of the Vitamin C you need in a day. In fact, both red and green bell peppers have more Vitamin C than an orange.

Before you start taking any vitamins or changing your diet, talk to your dentist or doctor. While vitamins may seem harmless, dietary supplements may interact or interfere with some prescription medications.

For more information about the relationship between diet and gum health please contact us here at The Priors Dental Practice.