Fortify Your Diet to Bolster the Health of Your Teeth
Everyone seems to know that “you are what you eat.” But how on earth do the foods we eat and the beverages we drink bypass our teeth and make such a landing statement on our back ends, hips, and thighs?
Answer: they don’t. End runs may work in football, but there’s no fooling your teeth and gums. Like an alert linebacker, they are the first line of defense on this active field, absorbing the foods and beverages you ingest with stunning accuracy.
Since your teeth need to last you a lifetime, it’s smart to know how your diet can affect their health and longevity. Allow central Florida’s most trusted and skilled dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Sevor, to guide you to healthier dietary choices and raise the warning flag on unhealthy choices—so you will never have to confront the stark reality of bone loss in teeth.
Calcium and Vitamin D Form a “Power Coupling”
Dr. Sevor has observed that most parents are vigilant about steering their children to a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. After all, how else are they going to develop the strong bones they will need to walk, run, participate in sports, and otherwise grow and develop into healthy adolescents and adults?
But bones support more than arms and legs; they support teeth, too. The jaw bone, in particular, plays a crucial role in preventing tooth loss, especially if gum disease—also known as periodontitis—sets in.
For nearly half of all adults over the age of 30, this is a painful reality—they have developed some form of gum disease, often distinguished by gums that are tender, swollen, discolored, bleeding, or receding.
Calcium Can Help Prevent Bone Loss in Teeth
Research has shown that women (more frequently than men) who get less than 500 milligrams of calcium per day are at far greater risk of developing gum disease. This suggests to Dr. Sevor that while women in particular may be conscientious about their children’s diet, they may become complacent about the importance of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C in their own oral health.
It pays to understand how these three critical nutrients can help prevent bone loss in teeth:
- Calcium strengthens tooth structure.
- Vitamin D helps absorb calcium and produces proteins that fight the bacteria that cause cavities.
- Vitamin C fortifies blood vessels and strengthens the connective tissue that holds teeth securely in your jaw.
Prevent Bone Loss in Teeth By Eating a Nutrient-Rich Diet
Certain foods are particularly rich in these three nutrients:
Foods loaded with calcium:
- Almonds (and almond butter)
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Ice cream (low-fat is best)
- Milk (including soy milk)
- Tofu (but check the nutrition label to be certain)
- White beans
- Yogurt (including frozen yogurt)
Foods loaded with vitamin D:
- Egg yolks
- Milk (including soy milk)
- Salmon (wild is best)
Foods loaded with vitamin C:
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Snow peas and sugar snap peas
- Turnip greens
Avoid Foods That Can Accelerate Bone Loss in Teeth
While you’re loading up on healthful food—and turning to vitamin supplements when you need a boost—be sure to avoid the following foods, which can accelerate bone loss in teeth:
- Sugary snacks, especially sticky, chewy, and brittle candy
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Crunchy foods (like trail mix) that may appear healthful but can chip away at the strongest teeth
You can count on Dr. Sevor of Central Florida Periodontics & Implantology to help you incorporate these healthful foods in your diet. Make an appointment with him and he will help you prevent bone loss in teeth—and keep them strong for a lifetime.