10 Foods that Fight Gum Disease and Encourage Healthier Teeth
So, you’ve heard of foods that build strong teeth, right? Calcium is one well-known mineral that promotes healthy teeth, but what kinds of foods make your gums healthy? And if you have gum disease, what are the the foods that fight infection in the mouth best?
If you don’t know what gum disease is, it occurs when the tissue around your teeth becomes infected and inflamed from the bacteria in plaque. Some of the most common signs of gum disease are swollen, red gums; consistent bad breath; or gums that bleed easily. The early stage of gum disease is known as “gingivitis” and is reversible through better oral hygiene practices, like regularly flossing and brushing.
The later stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis, and chronic periodontitis is a lot harder to get rid of. Not to fear, though, you can start fighting gum disease today by watching what you eat!
Here’s a list of 10 foods that can help keep your gums and teeth strong, healthy, and safe from gum disease.
Mouth Watering Foods That Fight Infection in the Mouth
1. Foods Rich in Probiotics
Just like there are harmful bacteria, there are also good bacteria as well. Probiotics are a form of healthy bacteria that can help both control the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth as well as add to the amount of good bacteria in your mouth, which helps combat plaque accumulation and gingivitis. You can find probiotics in many different foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and even pickles. You can check out more probiotic-filled recipes here to get you started at home!
2. Seeds and Nuts
One great source of Omega-3 are nuts and seeds, such as pistachios, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, and pecans, which all have high levels of omega-3. Omega-3 is important to include in your diet because it helps reduce inflammation in the body and can actually aid in reversing gum disease. Here’s a link to a tasty and healthy granola parfait treat for you to try!
3. Fatty Fish
Salmon, along with other fatty fish like cod, lake trout, or herring, are also great sources of Omega-3, which, as we just mentioned, is great for reducing inflammation in not just your body but your gums as well. Check out this salmon recipe to get your omega-3 in today.
4. Ginger Root Tea
Ginger root might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about gum-friendly foods, but it is actually a great natural anti-inflammatory herb. It can help promote gum health by fighting the inflammation that is caused by gum disease. One easy way to incorporate ginger root is in your tea. Happy sipping!
5. Bring on the Cheese
We’ve all been told, “drink your milk—it will help you grow up big and strong.” But what people might not know is that milk and other dairy products don’t just help our bodies grow strong, they are instrumental in helping our teeth do the same. Dairy is rich in calcium, which helps fortify our bones, and it has anti-bacterial enzymes that help promote healthier gums and teeth. Next time you want a snack, try throwing together a charcuterie board, and maybe even add some pistachios to the board for extra gum health!
6. Bell Peppers
Studies have shown that a lack of Vitamin C can be a cause of gum disease. Vitamin C helps your body’s immune system fight off disease and recharge after. Red and green bell peppers are an excellent source of this vitamin, which is vital in helping your gums fight off disease-causing bacteria and regenerate. Try out one of these recipes for your next meal and see how delightful bell peppers can be in your diet.
While chicken might not be the first source of food you think of for combating gum disease, it has not only one, but two sources of oral hygiene enhancement: collagen and Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). When you get gum disease, the tissue in your gums reorganize, causing collagen degradation. Eating chicken, which is high in collagen, can help prevent this. The CoQ10 also encourages anti-inflammation, which is crucial to helping prevent and fight off gum disease. This chicken recipe is sure to leave both your stomach and your gums happy!
8. Grass-fed Beef
Grass-fed beef (to be precise) is another great food to eat to boost your gum health. It is important to note that grass-fed beef contains positive nutrients like omega-3 and collagen, which are both anti-inflammatory and gum healthy. Grain-fed beef can contain harmful, inflammatory ingredients like antibiotics or omega-6, which could lead to worsening symptoms, so make sure you are picking up the right kind of beef at the store when making these delicious tacos.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Beta carotene helps people with gum disease heal better, because when your body breaks it down, it stores it as vitamin A, which is another great anti-inflammatory vitamin. Sweet potatoes have a high level of beta carotene, making them a perfect addition to our list of mouth-watering and mouth-saving foods! Here’s a particularly delicious sweet potato recipe.
Have you ever heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, the same is true for the dentist! Not only are apples rich in vitamins and nutrients, but their firm texture requires you to chew in order to finish the snack. This helps remove plaque that builds up and clings to your teeth all day and provides you with a happy belly. Here’s a fun recipe to spice up the way you eat your everyday apples.
Healthy gums start with healthy snacks.
There’s no need to fear gum disease when there are easy and fun ways to prevent it now. Changing the way we eat meals, and even snack, is a great way to keep our teeth and gums as happy and healthy as we are. If you suspect you might have symptoms of gum disease, contact us at Davis Family Dental Care and we can set up an appointment.