Did you know that oral health, including periodontal health, is total body health? Your gums, tissues, and bones that support the teeth are as healthy as the rest of your body. When you have healthy lifestyle habits, your gums and teeth are also likely to be healthy. And while regular brushing and flossing are two of the most important habits to maintain, there are other aspects to periodontal health as well.
One of these is diet and nutrition. What you eat can help keep your gums healthy—or harm them. Eating a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet ensures that essential nutrients travel to your gums, keeping them pink and firm. From preventing gum disease to improving healing after periodontal procedures, it’s clear that nutrition plays a major part in your periodontal health.
Are you eating a healthy and balanced diet? In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into the role that nutrition plays in your periodontal health. Here’s your periodontist’s advice for keeping your gums strong and healthy.
What the Experts Say: The Crucial Link Between Nutrition and Periodontal Health
Over the past years, there has been countless research into the link between nutrition and periodontal health. And these studies have come to one conclusion: a healthy, balanced diet helps maintain good periodontal health.
According to these studies, various nutritional components not only strengthen the gums and prevent tooth loss and gum disease, but the nutritional factors of a healthy diet can also help promote healing after periodontal surgery, such as when you get dental implants. These findings are consistent with the positive impact of a nutritious diet on your overall health, such as preventing obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
How to Eat Healthy for Periodontal Health
The question now is, what is a healthy diet for your gums and teeth? While the basics of a healthy and balanced diet include fruits and vegetables, there are specific food groups that are most likely to promote good periodontal health and prevent gum disease.
Let’s go over the types of foods and nutritional factors that your diet should contain.
A randomized clinical trial showed the impact of eating anti-inflammatory foods on maintaining good periodontal health. In the study, patients who were asked to follow a diet that was low on carbs and animal proteins and high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and D, plant nitrates and fibre, and antioxidants experienced reduced bleeding in their gums.
It’s worth noting that even though both these patients and those in the control group did not exhibit a significant difference in plaque levels, the group that followed a healthy diet did not undergo any interdental cleaning during the clinical trial. This means, their diet had a significant positive impact on their periodontal health, as observed in reduced bleeding.
Superfoods Benefit Periodontal Health
The building blocks of every healthy diet are fruits and vegetables, and it’s for a good reason. These foods are superfoods, highly rich in essential vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function, including your gums, tissues, and bones that support the teeth.
You may have heard of heart-healthy foods and specific fruits and vegetables that provide specific benefits to various organs. This is also true for periodontal health. In fact, periodontists recommend at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to prevent periodontal disease from progressing.
If you’re wondering what types of fruits and vegetables pack the most periodontal health benefits, periodontists recommend foods that are high in vitamin C, minerals, and polyphenols. These three components have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties which are essential in keeping the gums healthy and preventing bleeding, a symptom of gum disease. An example of this periodontal superfood is kiwi, with two servings a day.
Aside from foods with high concentrations of vitamin C, periodontists also recommend balancing your diet with foods rich in these essential vitamins:
- Vitamin A: Eggs, cod liver oil, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, liver, and leafy vegetables
- Vitamin E: Meat, fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, fish, and cereals
- Vitamin K: Kale, spinach, mustard, and collards
The Importance of Healthy Lifestyle Habits
A big part of eating a healthy and balanced diet is being intentional with your lifestyle choices. Along with eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, it’s important to avoid processed foods and instead choose freshly prepared dishes.
More importantly, when planning your meals, make sure that you actually get the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals. To do this, you will need to reevaluate your lifestyle choices that inhibit the amount of micronutrients you actually get, such as smoking, taking certain medications, taking drugs, and drinking alcohol. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps ensure that your body absorbs the right amount of nutrients, which is a key determinant of periodontal health.
Learn More About Gum-Healthy Foods from Our Periodontists
And there you have it—that’s everything you need to know about the vital link between a healthy diet and your periodontal health. At Periodontal Associates, our team of experienced periodontists in Mississauga are here to help you stay on track on your diet, so we can take better care of your gums and the tissues and bones that keep your teeth strong and healthy. Our periodontists in Mississauga are committed to providing long-term periodontal care, which includes helping you maintain healthy lifestyle habits.
For more tips on a gum-healthy diet and habits, get in touch with our periodontists in Mississauga today. Don’t wait for gum disease and other periodontal problems to develop.