What to Eat for a Healthy Mouth

Jamie J. Alexander on May 12, 2015

The public media has spread the fact that a high antioxidant level improves organ function and helps the body fight off disease, including cancer. I would like you to know that a high antioxidant level will also help your body fight off periodontal disease. A high antioxidant level can be achieved by eating lots of vegetables, berries and fruits. It can also be achieved with special nutritional supplements.

What to Eat (and Not Eat) for a Healthy Mouth

Oral bacteria that cause dental caries and periodontal disease feed on certain carbohydrates. A diet rich in simple carbohydrates (for example, sugar and white flour) increases the risk of dental and gum disease. Sugar also changes the pH of saliva, making your teeth more susceptible to dental plaque and caries.

Sugar

Sugar feeds inflammation. In fact, sugar is the biggest negative factor in your diet when it comes to both your oral and systemic health. Cut back on sugar. Many people find that when they eliminate it from their diet, sweet foods stop being attractive after just a few days. And, if they eat a dessert after abstaining from sugar, it no longer has the appeal it once had. In fact, they find themselves running for their toothbrush to get rid of the “too sweet” taste in their mouth.

Obesity has become an American epidemic, with nearly seventy percent of adults being either overweight or obese. Periodontal disease is also rampant with an estimated 56% of American men and 38% of American women affected by this disease.

Processed Foods

If you are one of these people, becoming healthy means changing what you eat. Get away from processed foods. Most processed foods are high in sugar. Dentists recommend that you expand your diet to fish, fruits and vegetables. Preplan snacks to include raw vegetables, fruit, and nuts—and the least “processed” nut spreads, cheeses, and yogurt. Get away from easy-to-grab foods such as bagels, cookies and chips—even nutritional shakes, as these are typically high in sugar.

Fruits & Vegetables

Nutritionists will tell you that vegetables and fruits reduce inflammation wherever it is occurring in your body. Your immune system will benefit from foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, bell peppers and dark greens. Certain herbs are anti-microbial and help in fighting off bacteria. These include parsley, coriander, cinnamon, spearmint, peppermint and rosemary. No wonder we find sugarless cinnamon and mint gums so refreshing after eating!

Many people find that if they keep a food diary of everything they eat and record the calories and other quantities such as fat and salt associated with each item they eat, they become highly conscious of poor choices and start making good choices. If you preplan your meals and snacks with all healthy choices, and stick to the plan each day, you will change your body. You will change your life.

Jamie J. Alexander D.D.S., P.A. 2521 South Federal Hwy. Boynton Beach, FL 33435