The 30 Best Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums

By nano-b
🍴 No matter how strict your oral hygiene routine, if you don’t watch your diet you are still putting your oral health at risk. Check out the best foods for healthy teeth and gums! The Oral Surgery DC Team
The Surprise Path to Perfect Teeth

Teeth are important! No wonder most of us take a really good care of them. Brushing, flossing, scraping our tongue, using mouthwash, we do a lot. Our mouth might very well be the part of our body we take the most care of and yet tooth decay and gum disease are still some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. How come? The answer might hide in the fridge!

Surprising or not, the difference between a healthy smile and frequent visits to the dentist might be your diet. Even if you have a perfect oral hygiene routine, it might be hard to keep your teeth healthy, if you don’t watch what you eat.

Too often, we see food as being only the villain when it comes to oral health. After all, it’s sugars and acids from food and drinks that do most of the damage to our teeth. However, there are many types of food that not only don’t harm your teeth as much but can even give a big boost to your oral health.

From preventing cavities and periodontal disease to even freshening your breath and whitening your teeth, the foods on this list can match the claims of the fanciest toothpaste and mouthwashes on the market. Most of them are actually pretty tasty as well, so take out your shopping list and get ready to add some teeth-friendly goodies.

How some foods help your teeth and gums stay healthy 

Your teeth and gums are a part of your body, and as every other part, need good nutrition to function properly. Specific nutrients are most beneficial for different parts of your body, so let’s see which are the most crucial elements for healthy teeth and gums.  (You can read which are the worst nutrients for your teeth and gums here )

Foods rich in calcium and phosphorous

Tooth enamel is, well, minerals. Different acidic foods and drinks may cause erosion of the enamel, so to make your teeth strong again you need to put some minerals back and try to restore what is lost. The main heroes here are calcium and phosphorous. These elements are the building blocks of enamel and consuming foods rich in them is a necessity if you want to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

* Best sources (calcium) – yogurt, cheese (hard, aged), seafood, milk (low-fat), tofu, almonds

* Best sources (phosphorous) – pumpkin seeds, fish, Brazil nuts, red meat, eggs, tofu, broth

Firm, crunchy foods high in water

Hard, crunchy foods that contain lots of water are great for your teeth more than one way. First, chewing produces more saliva, which is the best natural neutralizer of the bacteria that causes cavities. Second, the texture of these foods also makes them naturally abrasive, so they gently scrub and clean teeth surfaces, removing plaque and food particles. It has to be raw fruits and vegetable though, so this is not an excuse to munch on chips and crackers.

* Best options: celery, apples, cucumbers, carrots

Foods rich in vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for your overall health, but it’s really important if you want healthy teeth as well.The main reason is it helps your body to absorb calcium better.

* Best sources: sunlight (You can’t eat sunlight, but it still is the best natural source of Vitamin D), fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil

Foods rich in vitamin C

Vitamin C is powerful! It can strengthen blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which may help your gums stay healthier. Vitamin C is also required for the production of collagen, a key protein that helps you fight periodontal disease. Without Vitamin C, your gums become sensitive and more susceptible to the bacteria causing periodontal disease.

* Best sources: bell peppers, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, kale

Foods rich in antioxidants

When it comes to their health benefits, antioxidants have almost celebrity status. How do they help your mouth stay healthy? Antioxidants fight the bacteria that cause inflammation and periodontal disease. They help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.

* Best sources: apples, berries, grapes, raisins, nuts, beans

Foods containing probiotics

When it comes to bacteria in your body, there are tons of both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are some of the best ones. More research is needed here, but there is already some evidence that probiotics may help decrease plaque and promote healthy gums.

Best sources: yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and other fermented foods

Foods rich in anthocyanins, arginine, and polyphenols

There are many other elements that might be beneficial for oral health. More research is needed, but some of the most promising candidates are anthocyanins  (which may prevent the attachment of plaque on the teeth and fight oral cancer), arginine  (an important amino acid which may disrupt the formation of plaque and reduce chances of cavities) and polyphenols  (which may slow the growth of bacteria leading to plaque, preventing gum disease, cavities and bad breath).

* Best sources (anthocyanins) – berries, grapes, cherries, plums, eggplant

* Best sources (arginine) – meat, soy, nuts

* Best sources (polyphenols) – tea (black and green), berries, flaxseed, cocoa

30 of the best foods for healthy teeth and gums

So far we’ve gone over why your diet is important for your teeth and over some of the basic science behind the connection between oral health and what you eat. What is left is to give you the complete list of some of the best foods for your mouth. So, here it is! (Or you can click here to see The 25 Worst Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth and Gums. )

1) Cheese

Do you like cheddar? It’s rich in calcium. In addition, cheese lowers the acid level in your mouth, which plague hates it for. What’s more, chewing on hard cheeses increases saliva production, which washes off some of the bacteria in the mouth. Want to munch on some not-so-goo-for-your-teeth snacks like crackers – add some cheddar and you’ll mitigate the damage. Just remember, hard, aged cheeses are the best options.

2) Milk

Together with water, milk is the best drink when it comes to your teeth. It’s rich in calcium and other important elements. Milk also lowers the acid levels in the mouth, which helps fighting tooth decay.

3) Water

Your teeth’s superhero! Water helps wash away food particles and keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva is actually your mouth’s best defense against tooth decay because it contains proteins and minerals that naturally fight plaque and if you stay hydrated, you have an unlimited supply of it.

4) Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale)

Super healthy, leafy greens are rich in calcium, folic acid and lots of important vitamins and minerals that your teeth and gums love.

5) Fish (fatty fishes, wild salmon, tuna)

Rich in minerals and important vitamins like Vitamin D, fish are a crucial part of any teeth-friendly diet.

6) Meat

Most meats are great for your oral health. They are packed with some of the most important nutrients mentioned above. Red meat and even organ meats are especially beneficial.

7) Black and Green Tea

Think polyphenols! Polyphenols have been known to reduce bacteria and toxic products of bacteria in the mouth. Tea also tends to be rich in fluoride, which is a well-known necessity for healthy teeth. It’s best if you drink it unsweetened as sugar and even honey could ruin the party.

8) Nuts

Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth. They are packed with tons of important elements like calcium and phosphorus. Especially beneficial are almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews, which help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

9) Gum

This one is a no-brainer. Chewing gum boosts saliva production, washing away bacteria and food particles.

10) Cranberries (fresh)

Rich in polyphenols (just like tea), which keeps plaque at bay, thus lowering the risk of cavities. Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation.

11) Oranges

Most citrus fruits are really acidic, which is not good for your teeth, but oranges are least acidic of all and have all the health benefits that you can expect from fruits.

12) Strawberries

If you want perfect teeth, you better love strawberries! They are packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and also malic acid, which could even naturally whiten your teeth.

13) Yogurt

Yogurt definitely ticks more than one good box for your oral health. It’s packed with calcium and probiotics that protect you against cavities, gum disease, and even bad breath.

14) Carrots

Carrots are so tasty and full of tons of the most important minerals and vitamins in your mouth that they deserve a special mention. No wonder Bugs Bunny has perfect teeth.

15) Apples

Will an apple a day keep the dentist away? Probably not, but it will certainly help. It’s packed with key nutrients and vitamins.

16) Garlic

The allicin that is contained in garlic has strong antimicrobial properties. So, it helps you fight tooth decay and especially periodontal disease.

17) Ginger

Ginger is amazing in many ways. When it comes to oral health it might freshen your breath and inhibit bacteria growth.

18) Whole grains

Consumption of whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice) lowers the risk of gum disease.

19) Pears

Unlike many acidic fruits, raw pears are good at neutralizing acids, which makes them a perfect snack at any time.

20) Kiwis

Kiwis have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C.

21) Onions

When eaten raw, onions have powerful antibacterial properties especially against some of the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

22) Shiitake mushrooms

These tasty Asian goodies are plague’s nightmare. They contain lentinan, a natural sugar that disrupts the formation of plaque on your teeth.

23) Celery

Celery is so good for your teeth it’s worth a special mention. It’s in many ways the perfect snack for good oral health and is the closest we have to nature’s floss.

24) Soy

A diet that includes soy may help promote healthy gums.

25) Wasabi

Sushi just got better for your teeth! There is some evidence wasabi stops bacteria from sticking to your teeth.

26) Sesame seeds

High in calcium and very efficient at scrubbing plaque off your teeth while you chew them.

27) Sweet potatoes

A healthy dose of vitamin A will do lots of good things for your enamel and gums.

28) Raisins

This is a surprise entry, as raisins even appear as the bad guys in some places when it comes to their effect on teeth. However, they are a source of phytochemicals like oleanolic, which may kill cavity-causing bacteria. They are also rich in antioxidants.

29) Black coffee

An even more surprise entry! However, a series of recent studies have shown that black coffee could protect your teeth from tooth decay and actually help fight plaque. There of course is a small catch, the coffee needs to be black and unsweetened.

30) Red wine

Wait a second! Haven’t we been told hundreds of times to avoid red wine in order to protect our teeth? Well, yes…and no! According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a glass of red wine can have a strong antimicrobial effect against cavities causing bacteria. Cheers to these brave scientists!

Always remember the basics

It feels great to munch on tasty foods, which you know are great for your oral health. However, don’t forget what your dentist has taught you. Even after the healthiest entries of this list, it’s always a good idea to clean your teeth in some way from the remaining food particles, sugars, and acids. Brushing, of course, should be your top choice, but if it’s not an option at the moment, you can get a gum or at least drink some water.

 

Source: https://nano-b.com/blogs/news/the-30-best-food-for-healthy-teeth-and-gums?

 

Gum Disease: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment of Gum Disease

By Colgate
Discover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and ways to prevent the gum disease from damaging your oral health. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Definition

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease — from least to most severe — are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.

Signs & Symptoms

Gum disease can be painless, so it is important to be aware of any of the following symptoms:

  • Gums that easily bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Swollen, red or tender gums
  • Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth come together
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures
  • Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
  • Sharp or dull pains when chewing foods
  • Teeth that are overly sensitive to cold or hot temperatures

Cause

Bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth, cause gum disease. If plaque is not removed it can harden and turn into tartar (calculus). Additionally, dental plaque will continue to form on the tartar. Brushing or flossing cannot remove tartar; a dental professional will need to conduct a dental cleaning to remove it.

Diagnosis

If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, plaque turns into tartar, which becomes a rough and retentive surface encouraging further build up plaque. The plaque bacteria can infect your gums and teeth, and eventually, the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth will be impacted. There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis – This is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is the inflammation of the gums, caused by dental plaque buildup at the gum line. You may notice some redness or swelling of the gums, or some bleeding during brushing and flossing. At this early stage gum disease can be reversed since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
  • Periodontitis – At this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold the teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. The gums begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which encourages penetration and growth of plaque below the gum line. Professional periodontal therapy and improved personal oral hygiene can usually help prevent further damage to the gum tissue and supporting tissue and bone.
  • Advanced Periodontitis – In this more advanced stage of gum disease, the fibers and bone of your teeth are being destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. This can affect your bite and how you eat and communicate. If aggressive periodontal therapy can’t save them, teeth may need to be removed by a dental specialist. Your dentist will provide restorative options if teeth are removed due to periodontal disease.

Prevention

Proper brushing and flossing go a long way toward keeping gum disease at bay. Using an antibacterial toothpaste or mouth rinse can kill bacteria and lessen the amount of plaque in your mouth. Removing dental plaque is the key to preventing gum disease and improved mouth health.

Treatment

A professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. By scheduling regular checkups — twice a year — early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition.

If gum disease is more advanced, scaling and root planning can be performed to treat diseased periodontal pockets and gum infection. A dental hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, tartar and food debris above and below the gum line, and hand scales the tooth and root surfaces to make them smooth and disease free. Laser treatments are also sometimes used to remove tartar deposits. If periodontal pockets are more than 5 millimeters deep, that is, if you have moderate to severe periodontitis, gingival flap surgery may be performed by a periodontist to reduce periodontal pockets, as well as bone grafting to restore lost bone.

Related Conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers have discovered potential associations between gum disease and other serious health conditions. If you have diabetes, for example, you are at higher risk of developing infections, such as periodontal disease. The CDC reports that gum disease may be connected to damage elsewhere in the body. Recent published research studies suggest an association between oral infections and conditions such as diabetes, as mentioned above, heart disease, and stroke. Further research is being conducted to examine these connections.4

Other Info About Gum Disease

The simple way to help prevent gum disease

Gum disease is caused when bacteria (plaque) are not removed by daily brushing and flossing, luckily it’s preventable. Try one of our toothpastes designed to reduce plaque regrowth and help prevent the occurrence of gum disease.

Source: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease?

 

 

 

Recovery After Oral Surgery

By Shawn Watson, Verywell

💊 Always follow the post-operative instructions of your dentist for your optimum recovery. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Recovery should be your number one concern after oral surgery. Always follow the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon or dentist to prevent any risk of infection or trauma to the surgical site. Follow these general guidelines after ​oral surgery for rapid recovery and optimum healing.

Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction

Bleeding after a tooth extraction is normal and slight bleeding may be noticed for up to 24 hours after surgery. Use the gauze that was provided to you, and bite down with firm pressure for one hour. You should remove the gauze gently. It may be necessary to take a sip of water to moisten the gauze if it feels stuck to the tissue. Doing this will prevent the bleeding from reoccurring. If you continue to have bleeding in the surgical area, contact your dentist or surgeon. They may instruct you to bite on a moist black tea bag. The tannic acid in the tea has been shown to reduce bleeding and assist with clotting.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal response to various types of surgery. Keep your head elevated with pillows as mentioned above. You may use an ice pack on the outside of your face for the first 24 hours after oral surgery. Swelling is usually completely gone within 7 to 10 days after oral surgery. Stiffness in the muscles of the face is also normal and may be noticed for up to 10 days after oral surgery. You may see slight bruising, typically if the surgery involved your lower wisdom teeth. If you have any concerns about swelling, or swelling has not reduced after 7 to 10 days, contact your doctor.

Pain After Oral Surgery and Medications

Pain after oral surgery varies depending on the extent of the procedure. Your dentist or surgeon will prescribe any necessary pain management medication. Follow the instructions for your medication carefully and always consult with your dentist or surgeon before taking any ​over-the-counter medications with your prescriptions. If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, always take all of the medication prescribed to you to prevent infection.

Rest and Recovery

Rest for at least two days after oral surgery. Physical activity is not recommended for 2 to 3 days after your surgery. Typically, you should be able to resume normal daily activities within 48 hours after surgery.

Oral Hygiene After Oral Surgery

Vigorous rinsing and spitting should be avoided for 24 hours. Brush gently and flossif able to open wide enough. Lightly rinse your mouth with water, avoiding mouthwash. Let the water fall out of your mouth on its own. After 24 hours, consider rinsing with a saline or salt water solution. This will naturally help keep the surgical site clean, aiding in the healing process. Prepare your saline solution by placing one tablespoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Do not swallow the saline solution. Repeat this as necessary throughout the day. If you have had an extraction, do not attempt to remove anything from the tooth socket (hole). Rinsing lightly will dislodge any food particles from the site.

Tobacco Use

Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after oral surgery. Smoking delays healing and may cause a very painful infection called a dry socket. This condition is a painful infection that will need to be treated by your dentist. Avoid the use of smokeless or chewing tobacco until complete healing has occurred. If you have had an extraction, the pieces from the tobacco may enter the extraction site, causing pain and discomfort in the socket.

 

Source: https://www.verywell.com/recovery-after-oral-surgery-1059383?