NUTRITION

 

Research shows that adequate nutrition is essential not only for overall physical health, but also for the development and maintenance of a healthy mouth especially the teeth and gums. The relationship between diet and oral health is highly related as good nutrition has a role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, while the health of our teeth and gums helps determine the type of foods we can eat. In fact, when we are lacking one or more nutrients in our diet, the first symptoms of deficiency often manifest in the mouth (usually with vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and protein deficiency). Good oral health practices begin early in life and should be maintained throughout life.

 

Nutrition and Immune Function

Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.

 

Always ask  if you're not sure how your nutrition (diet) may be affecting your oral health. Conditions such as tooth loss, pain or joint dysfunction can impair chewing and are often found in elderly people, those on restrictive diets and those who are undergoing medical treatment. People experiencing these problems may be too isolated or weakened to eat nutritionally balanced meals at a time when it is particularly critical. Talk to us, your dental health professionals about what you can do for yourself or someone you know in these circumstances. 

 

Nutrition and Tooth Erosion

Frequently consuming foods with a low pH value, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, pickles, fresh fruit and yogurt can lead to irreversible dental erosion. Dental erosion is the breakdown of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape while protecting it from decay. When acidic food or drink is consumed the enamel will soften for a short amount of time. Typically, saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. If foods high in acid are consumed on an excessive basis, the mouth can't repair itself and there is a greater chance for dental erosion

 

Vegetarian diets and diets in which fruit comprises more than two-thirds of the total food intake also makes patients more susceptible to erosion. Erosion can also be caused by stomach acids introduced into the mouth through vomiting and acid reflux. The primary action patients can take to decrease their likelihood of erosion is to reduce consumption of sugary fizzy drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks.

 

Essential Nutrition

There are many minerals and nutrients that are good for the entire body. Here are just some of the minerals and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy:

  • Calcium. Your teeth and jaws are made mostly of calcium. Without enough calcium in your diet, you risk developing gum disease and tooth decay. Calcium is found in many foods and liquids, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, and oysters.

  •  Iron. Iron deficiency can cause your tongue to become inflamed, and sores can form inside your mouth. Iron is found in many foods, including liver and red meat. Other iron-rich foods include bran cereals, some nuts, and spices.

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin). A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores in the mouth. To boost your B3 levels, eat chicken and fish.

  •  Vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin). You also can develop mouth sores when you do not consume enough of the vitamins B12 and B2. Red meat, chicken, liver, pork, fish, as well as dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, are good sources of vitamin B12. Vitamin B2 is found in foods like pasta, bagels, spinach, and almonds.

  • Vitamin C. Too little vitamin C will lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth. Sweet potatoes, raw red peppers, and oranges are great sources of vitamin C.

  •  Vitamin D. It is very important to consume enough vitamin D because it helps your body  absorb calcium. A diet lacking or low in vitamin D will cause burning mouth syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include a burning mouth sensation, a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth, and dry mouth. Drink milk, and eat egg yolks and fish to increase your vitamin D intake.

 

Poor Nutrition

Not all foods are good for your teeth. If you consume these foods, do so in moderation, and be sure to practice good oral health care. 

  • Carbohydrates. Bacteria feed on leftover foods in the mouth and produce acid, which causes decay. Carbohydrate-laden foods, such as chips, bread, pasta, or crackers, can be as harmful to the teeth as candy.

  • Sticky, chewy foods. Raisins, granola bars, jelly beans, caramel, honey, and syrup stick to teeth and make it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away.

  • Sugary snacks. Snacks like cookies, cakes, or other desserts contain a high amount of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

  • Gum and candy. Chewing gum and eating candy is very harmful to your teeth. As you eat, sugar coats your teeth, which can lead to cavities.

  • Carbonated soft drinks. Regular soda (or pop) contains an extremely high amount of sugar. Both regular and diet sodas also contain phosphorous and carbonation, which wears away the enamel on your teeth (causing them to become stained and brown).

  • Fruit or vegetable juices. Fruit and vegetable juices tend to be high in sugar, which can damage tooth enamel and lead to decay.  

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 Please contact the reception teams of the above Dental Practices for an appointment

 

Make an Appointment
Juliette is available for consultation and treatment at the following clinics:

Juliette Reeves

 UK Dental Hygienist

 

London: St Johns Wood

Abbey Road Dental

81 Abbey Road

London NW8 0AE

Tel: 0207 624 1603

www.abbeyroaddental.co.uk

Cambridgeshire : Peterborough

Smile Oralcare

87a Princes Street

Peterborough Cambs PE1 2SS

Tel: 01733 560700

www.smile1.co.uk