Gum disease is a common yet serious problem that can have long-term consequences for your gums and teeth. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of the foods that can contribute to gum disease. This blog post outlines five foods you should avoid, from sugary snacks to acidic fruits, if you want to keep gum disease at bay. We will also provide tips on how to take better care of your gums and teeth, in general, to help prevent gum disease from developing or worsening. Read on to find out more!
Introducing Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious issue that can lead to tooth loss, and it’s essential to be aware of the foods that can contribute to its development. Here are four types of food to avoid if you want to keep your gums healthy:
Sugary Foods: Sugar is one of the main culprits in gum disease. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, which leads to plaque formation. Plaque is a sticky film that clings to your teeth and gums and is the primary cause of gum disease.
Starchy Foods: starch from bread, pasta, rice, and other carbohydrates can also contribute to plaque formation. When these starches are combined with sugary foods, they can be especially harmful to your gums.
Acidic Foods: Acidic fruits like oranges and lemons can damage tooth enamel, which makes it easier for plaque to form. If you eat acidic foods, brush your teeth afterward, so the acid doesn’t have a chance to damage your teeth or gums.
Hard Foods: Hard candy, nuts, and popcorn kernels can all crack or break teeth if you’re not careful. If you eat these types of food, make sure you chew them slowly and carefully so that you don’t damage your teeth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The primary cause of gum disease is plaque, a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. When plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. Tartar buildup at the gum line leads to irritation, inflammation, and infection. Gum disease progresses from gingivitis (early stage) to periodontitis (advanced stage).
The Five Foods To Avoid
Five specific foods are known to cause gum disease:
Sugar: Refined sugar is the number one food to avoid if you want to keep your gums healthy. Sugar leads to plaque build-up on teeth, leading to gum inflammation and infection.
Coffee: Both regular and decaffeinated coffee contain compounds that can contribute to gum disease. These compounds include tannins and polyphenols, leading to gum irritation and inflammation.
Tea: Like coffee, tea contains tannins and polyphenols. These compounds can cause gum irritation and inflammation, leading to gum disease.
Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can dehydrate the mouth, leading to gum dryness and increased susceptibility to gum disease. Additionally, alcohol consumption has been linked with an increased risk of developing periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease.
Tobacco: Both smoking and smokeless tobacco products increase the risk of developing gum disease. Tobacco use leads to plaque build-up on teeth and an increased risk of developing periodontitis.
Brushing and Flossing Tips
The first step in preventing gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Here are some tips to help you brush and floss properly:
- Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue! This helps remove bacteria that can cause bad breath.
- Floss at least once a day, using gentle back-and-forth motions.
- Be sure to floss between all of your teeth, not just the ones that are easy to reach.
As with most health issues, our diets play a major role in the development of gum disease. We must make good food choices and avoid foods known to cause inflammation and contribute to gum disease. This article provided helpful information on avoiding common foods if you want optimal oral health. Remember, caring for your gums starts with what you eat!