There have been quite a few studies done over the years about the role that diet plays when it comes to oral health. In particular, we’ve seen a lot of great information emerge showing how anti-inflammatory food can reduce bacteria that leads to Periodontitis (gum disease). We’ve always known that inflammation leads to poor overall health, but there isn’t as much discussion about how inflammation affects oral health.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the benefits of eating anti-inflammatory foods as well as steps you can take to reduce inflammation now and in the future. Let’s jump right in!
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis involves inflammation around the tooth. It is dangerous because it doesn’t hurt until it’s in an advanced stage. If periodontal health is in poor condition, a person’s gums and teeth are in jeopardy. These types of infections cause bone damage underneath the tooth and are detrimental to your mouth’s soft tissue complex
Gone untreated, Periodontitis can cause tooth loss and potentially more significant health problems. There have been reports that poor periodontal health can even lead to heart attack and stroke because the same plaque in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream to the heart.
How does food impact oral health?
Since Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease, it’s important to eat foods that decrease inflammation in order to increase periodontal health.
For example, it’s been shown that carbohydrates create an increased risk of inflammation. Of course, carbs are a good source of energy and you shouldn’t eliminate them altogether. You should, however, reduce your intake of carbs and incorporate alternative, helpful foods into your diet to reduce inflammation risk and help boost your oral health.
What is considered “anti-inflammatory”?
There are several important aspects of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Vitamin C, which can be found in many common fruits such as oranges and bananas, improves the pH balance of the body.
You should consume more Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, both of which can be found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon. These types of foods help reduce dental plaque buildup in the mouth.
Finally, antioxidants and fiber are excellent for decreasing inflammation in the body. You’ll find many fruits and vegetables with antioxidant qualities that are also rich in fiber.
What should you eat more of?
All in all, an anti-inflammatory diet means increasing your intake of things like fruits and vegetables, high-quality fatty acids, lean sources of protein, dietary fiber, water as well as spices such as ginger, curry, and turmeric. By adding these foods to your diet, you’ll see long-term health benefits that go beyond even oral health.
What should you eat less of?
Focus on decreasing trans fats, unhealthy saturated fats, refined or high-sugar foods as well as gluten. By restricting fermentable carbohydrates such as simple sugars and complex carbohydrates, you’ll drastically increase your odds of preventing dental cavities.
We hope this guide serves you well on your health journey! Again, there are many aspects to improving oral and overall health. Food plays an important role, but it is not the one-stop cure-all. Regular check-ups, professional cleanings and long-term planning are just a few of the critical steps you need to take to ensure a happy, healthy mouth for years to come. After all, the goal is for your teeth to outlive you!
If you would like to get more information on getting started with an anti-inflammatory diet, how to improve your oral health or want to learn how Dental Arts can help you get the results you want for your mouth, please contact us. We’re always here to help!
Dental Arts is a full-service general dentistry and orthodontic practice for the entire family. For more than three decades, we have been providing the highest quality dental and orthodontic care available to the residents of New Orleans. Explore the Dental Arts difference today.