Healthy Diet, Healthy Teeth: The Relationship between Nutrition and Oral Health
We all know that nutrition is a foundation for our overall health. Nutrition is how our bodies get energy to perform their daily functions. In many cases, poor nutrition is how our bodies get toxins and imbalances. This is no exception for our oral health. Studies show that a pure, healthy diet with a surplus of vitamins and nutrients can help to prevent gum disease and encourage overall oral health.
Western Diet and Dental Health
An American dentist named Weston Price became interested in the relationship between nutrition and our oral health. In the early 20th century, he set out on a journey to study how different types of diets around the world are connected with tooth decay and gum disease. Over the course of several years, he explored the world
areas like South and North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
He noticed a pattern: ancient, indigenous populations that had a simplistic and traditional diet tended to have sturdier dental arches, healthier teeth, and less tooth decay. Similarly, cultures that had a more
diet that included processed foods like sugar and white flour had a higher incidence of tooth decay, gum disease, and malformed arches.
How Can I Improve My Health?
The good news is that it
s simple to use our nutrition to benefit our oral health
as well as all other facets of our health. While it
s okay to indulge in some of our sugary, starchy favorites, it
s important to keep a balance of moderation. For the best results, our diets should consist mainly of whole fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and the like. Remember that processed foods, especially those that contain high amounts of simple sugars, are one of the primary enemies of nutritional health.
Beneficial Nutrients for Oral Health
Here are some types of nutrients and the oral benefits they may offer:
- Protein: healthy tooth structure, development of mucosal and connective tissues, and immune function
- Calcium: tooth structure and potential to enhance the re-mineralization of our enamel
- Antioxidants: immune function and the development of mucosal and connective tissues
- Vitamin C: maturation of collagen and maintaining integrity of periodontal ligaments, as well as immune function and development of mucosal and connective tissues
- Probiotics: potential to decrease the growth of pathogens that lead to plaque and gingivitis
Proper nutrition and a healthy diet are part of the formula for long-term oral health. If you need help with periodontal issues, call our team today to bring you back to health as soon as possible.