Revamp your diet for a healthy mouth
SUMMARY: By changing a few things in your diet, you can prevent gum disease and save yourself from worsening oral health issues.
Posted: January 29, 2013
Periodontal disease or more commonly referred to as gum disease, is an illness that happens when the gums and tissue that stabilize your teeth become inflamed, infected and begin to pull away from your chompers. If you keep up with a regular regimen of brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, your chance of getting periodontal disease is much slimmer, but sometimes your diet is the root cause of this oral issue.
Just as consuming dairy is pertinent for healthy and strong bones, it is necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. Studies have shown that individuals who consume dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt on a regular basis may prevent gum disease.
Deficiencies in vitamin C and D have been linked to gum disease, as well as other oral health issues like bad breath. These issues date all the way back to the 18th century when sailors would chew on limes to keep their gums from bleeding. While you don't have to go around sucking on a lime wedge, increasing your intake of vitamin C by snacking on mangos, oranges, grapefruit, red peppers, broccoli or brussel sprouts will give your gums the antioxidants they need to repair destructed tissue and accelerate bone regeneration.
Vitamin D has also been found to be very beneficial to the gums. The most important source of vitamin D is the sun, and the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements suggests ensuring 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a day. However, supplements can be taken or foods with high vitamin D content can be consumed. Vitamin D is typically found in fish oils, cheese, egg yolks, certain mushrooms and fatty fish. You can also get milk with vitamin D added to it, which may be perfect if you live in a particularly cloudy environment.
Increasing your intake of folic acids can help decrease the probability of gum disease, and help prevent bad breath. Foods with high contents of this vitamin include spinach and other leafy greens, orange juice, milk, whole grains, wheat germ, soybeans and beets.
Natural cranberry juice with no sugar added may actually prevent gum disease by inhibiting bacteria from clinging onto the teeth and gums. Some doctors believe that an extract from cranberries could be used as an ingredient in toothpaste. Until this extract is added, though, it's best to go for the real fruit.
Tea tree oil
The antibiotic properties of tea tree oil can help prevent and remedy mild cases of gum disease. When topically applied to the gums, tea tree oil can significantly decrease the degree of gingivitis and bleeding of the gums; however, tea tree oil doesn't have any fighting power against plaque.
Coenzyme q10 is naturally made in the body, but there is some evidence showing that deficiencies may lead to gum disease. It is found in many foods and can also be consumed in supplement form. It is also possible to find a natural toothpaste that contains this enzyme, which can help fight infection and inflammation.
Are you often stressed out because of work or a hectic schedule? This can actually be causing your periodontal disease. A study at the University of Dusseldorf found that when comparing two groups of students, the group that had to write exams had a higher amount of plaque than the control group that didn't have exams. If you're finding that you're always stressed out, you may want to join a gym, practice yoga at home or participate in meditation. By simply sitting in a quiet, dark room for 10 minutes while concentrating on breathing, your stress levels can be greatly reduced.