Your diet consists of all the foods, beverages, and snacks that you consume. Most people consider their diets when they want to lose a few pounds or the doctor tells them that they must watch their diets in order to control diabetes, cholesterol, or other conditions. However, it is also important for you to understand the direct impact that your diet has on your oral health. You only get one set of permanent teeth in your lifetime; taking care of them, from every aspect, is incredibly important.
Each day, you can find millions of bacteria living within your mouth. If that immediately causes you to feel the need to brush your teeth – then good! These bacteria are present in the mouth in order to help keep your mouth clean. After eating and drinking anything other than water, there are tiny particles left behind in the mouth from the foods and beverages that you consume. The oral bacteria go to work in order to break down these food particles so that they are not harming your teeth. However, these “helpful” bacteria become counter-productive as they work because they begin to produce acids to help them in their endeavors. Just as with any other type of acid, the acids that are produced by the oral bacteria will eat their way through anything that is in their paths. This just happens to be your tooth enamel and your gum tissue.
Acids are responsible for creating cavities and infections in the gum tissues, and they can do so quickly if you do not practice good oral hygiene every day. These acids are directly related to your diet because the oral bacteria are most attracted to the sugars in the foods and beverages that you consume. When there are sugary particles left behind in the mouth, the bacteria will congregate in large numbers and will over-produce acids in those specific places. This leaves certain areas of the mouth extremely susceptible to cavities, decay, and gum disease simply because there was a high level of sugar left behind.
A healthy diet consists of: lean sources of protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, dry beans, legumes, and plenty of water. By limiting your intake of sugar, you are protecting your oral health as well as your heart and your entire body. At Huebner Smiles, we are happy to assist you in every manner that pertains to your oral health. Call us today to learn more about creating a healthy diet.