October 14, 2017
Gums are the unsung heroes of your smile. They keep your teeth in place, protect the underlying bone structure and fight bacteria every day. And while brushing and flossing are important, there’s more you can do simply by eating foods that support gum health. Read on to learn about the foods you should be eating for your gums.
Onions Make You Cry
Onions may bring tears to your eyes, but they bring bacteria fighting power to your gums. Onions are loaded with microbial properties that neutralize the oral bacteria leading to gum disease and tooth decay. For healthier gums, try adding onions to a salad, on top of a sandwich or hamburger, and in soups, stews and chili.
Eat Your Greens
Leafy vegetable such as kale and spinach are chock full of vitamins and minerals. In particular, they both contain vitamin C, which supports the production of red blood cells and reduces inflammation. In addition, leafy greens are high in fiber, so they demand more chewing, which increases saliva production. Saliva helps to flush away bacteria, plaque and food particles that may lodge near the gum line.
Speaking of Vitamin C
Colorful peppers and acidic fruits such as oranges, pineapple, strawberries and kiwi also contain a lot of vitamin C. Add these to salads, yogurt parfaits and smoothies for a boost of this anti-inflammatory vitamin.
Oh, Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms contain an antibacterial compound called lentinan, which fights against the bacteria in plaque. These bacteria often multiply between teeth and along the gum line. Eventually, they can cause irritation and lead to gum disease. Shiitake mushrooms are great in stir-fry dishes, sautéed as a side dish or added to salads and vegetables.
Pass the Crunchies, Please
Fruits and vegetables that are crunchy help to scrape away particles of food and plaque that get stuck to teeth. Celery, carrots and apples, for example, can get in between teeth and into small crevices, thereby helping to keep your mouth fresh. And they’re also high in fiber so they take a while to chew, which means there’s more saliva to wash away bacteria.
Have a Dairy Day
You know that dairy products are great for building strong bones and teeth, but did you know that they are also good for your gums? Most milk products contain casein, which is a protein that helps to neutralize acids that oral bacteria produce. If not removed, these acids can lead to cavities as well as gum disease. So be sure to enjoy dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt every day.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation in the body. There is one type of antioxidant—catechins—that helps fight gum inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
Of course, if you’ve noticed that your gums are sensitive or bleed when you brush and floss, then it’s time to see the dentist for professional treatment.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Block is a dentist in Freemont, offering comprehensive gum disease treatment including deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), antibiotic therapy and soft tissue laser treatment. Call the office today to schedule an appointment.
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