Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What To Eat For Healthy Gums

Gum diseases like gingivitis not only are painful, but also can lead to more serious infections and compromise your overall health. We all know that we need to brush and floss on a regular basis to avoid gum disease, but your diet can affect the health of your gums, too.

Food to Avoid

Sometimes eating with your gums in mind means avoiding certain foods, particularly foods high in sugar or starch.

Like tooth decay, gum disease is caused by the sticky film called plaque. Both sugar and starch combine with an enzyme in saliva that creates an acid, which in turn creates a perfect environment for plaque formation. This means avoiding things like sugary sodas and fruit juices as well as baked goods and limiting breads.

"Nature's Toothrush"

There are foods that are beneficial to your gums, with apples ranking among the best. Despite the fact that they contain both sugars and starches, apples are referred to by dentists as "nature's toothbrush."

Sometimes the sugar and starch rules are a matter of relativity. While all fruits contain sugars and starches, they come in lower quantities in whole fruits than in most juices, even those with no sugar added.

The sugar and starch rules also can be overridden by other factors--in the case of an apple, saliva production. The crunchy texture of apples helps stimulate saliva production, which washes away sugars and starches that contribute to plaque formation.

Other Good Foods for Your Gums

Many other foods contain qualities that benefit gum health. The crunchy factor that stimulates saliva while eating an apple works the same with any other crunchy or highly textured food. Carrots and celery are other good examples, but the possibilities are endless.

The health of your teeth directly affects the health of your gums. With so many people drinking bottled and filtered water, we do not get as much fluoride from our tap water. To be sure to get plenty of fluoride, try drinking tea and eating lots of vegetables.

Tags: sugar starch, your gums, health your, sugars starches, health your gums, means avoiding