One item found on many New Year's resolutions lists is a commitment to eat healthier, more nutritious foods. If this is one of your goals, don't forget that your oral health is closely linked to your general health.
When you think about the foods you want to include, it's a good idea to choose those good for your general health and well-being and support healthy gums.
Gum disease is widespread in the US, with nearly half of all adults over 30 experiencing it to some degree—many without their knowledge. Symptoms range from bleeding gums in the mild stage to tooth loss in the advanced stage called periodontitis.
3 Foods That Support Healthy Gums
Here are three foods our periodontist in Baton Rouge, LA, recommends that help support excellent gum health.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, arugula, and kale are low in calories and loaded with nutrients, especially vitamin B9. Also called folate or folic acid, vitamin B9 reduces gum inflammation and bleeding and makes gums more resistant to the effects of dental plaque and bacteria. These are the two main causes of gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.
Apples aren't as high in folic acid as leafy greens, but they are delicious, and the chewing action helps remove lingering food particles from your teeth. The most significant benefit of munching on a crispy apple is that it stimulates saliva production.
Saliva is often called nature's mouthwash and is an important factor in preventing gum disease because bacteria thrive in a dry environment. Saliva also helps rinse food particles and bacteria from your teeth to minimize the plaque development that leads to gum disease.
Dairy products like cheese and milk contain calcium and phosphorous that can help strengthen tooth enamel. Yogurt, in particular, contains probiotics (healthy bacteria) that help protect teeth and gums from disease and decay. One survey found that those in the study who consumed yogurt once a week had an 18% lower risk of developing gum disease.
Is It Time for Your Next Dental Cleaning?
Each of the above foods support excellent gum health, but the key to ensuring your gums are as healthy as they can be is routine teeth cleanings with a dental hygienist.
If you're looking for a dentist near me who can ensure that your family's smiles are healthy, the team at Palm Family Dentistry in Baton Rouge would love to help! Please call us to schedule your next teeth cleaning appointment.