What you consume affects the general health of your body, but your oral health is also heavily impacted by your diet. Establishing a healthy diet can save you from years of problems with your teeth. This includes tooth decay, which can occur if your diet is packed with sugary foods and beverages. Below, Dr. Rader explains the connection between diet and oral health.
Defining Oral Health
It is important to first understand what is meant by oral health. In a healthy mouth, the oral tissues are moist and free from odor. Additionally, the following characterize good oral health:
- The teeth are structurally sound and do not wiggle.
- The gums are inflammation-free and do not bleed easily from routine brushing and flossing.
- The gums do not appear red; keep in mind that the color of the gums can range from light pink to a darker hue.
- No ulcers or lumps.
- No tooth decay.
Tooth decay describes damage to the surface of the tooth and can lead to cavities if untreated. When plaque comes into contact with sugar, acid forms and begins to erode the tooth’s enamel. The good news is that tooth decay can be prevented, especially by limiting sugar in your diet. Infection, pain, and even tooth loss can accompany tooth decay, making it a serious condition that could compromise the health of your smile.
Wise Dietary Choices
The following can help you maintain a healthy smile:
Eat nutrient-rich foods: A nutrient-rich diet can help you maintain a healthy mouth. Important minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, can help reinforce the enamel. Eating foods containing calcium, such as yogurt, leafy greens, and milk, can contribute to tooth health. Meanwhile, make sure you are consuming enough protein from foods such as fish and eggs, which are good sources for phosphorus.
Drink lots of water: Water is the best beverage option for your smile. It helps eliminate dry mouth and can also help keep the mouth free from excess bacteria. Additionally, regularly consuming water with fluoride is a great, low-effort way to prevent cavities.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks: Although a piece of candy after dinner or a soda with lunch may not seem like a big deal, they are full of sugar, which is the key component of tooth decay. Avoiding these sugary foods can save you from cavities down the line.
Limit alcohol: Alcohol can lead to dehydration, which causes a dry mouth. When the flow of saliva is not enough to nourish and coat the mouth, tooth decay can more easily develop.
Restore Optimal Oral Health in Sevierville
Understanding the role that diet plays in oral health can help you keep your smile healthy for life. However, you still need regular dental visits to eliminate or catch issues before they develop into more serious oral concerns. Contact our office today for an appointment or use the online form today.