Can Diet Improve Your Gums?
Berries in tray.

Healthy gums are important to a healthy smile and body. A variety of factors can contribute to periodontitis, an inflammatory disease that destroys healthy gum tissue and is a risk factor for heart and lung diseases. While Dr. Mondale can treat periodontitis, preventing its development is both the doctor and patient’s goal. Risk factors for periodontitis include smoking, obesity, diabetes, diet and particular pathogens. The start and progression of the disease appears to be a balance between the amount and type of bacteria affecting the teeth/gums and the immune system’s response to that challenge. The bacterial challenge to gums and teeth can be reduced by sticking to a daily brushing/flossing routine and by getting regular cleanings.

 

Reducing the inflammation associated with periodontitis is a goal of successful management of the disease. High polyunsaturated fat and carbohydrate heavy diets contribute to a state of chronic inflammation. To help control inflammation, limit your intake of these foods:

 

  • Fried foods
  • Soda
  • Refined carbs
  • Lard
  • Processed meats
  • Processed foods and sugar

 

Eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins may be beneficial for combatting the oxidative stress associated with inflammation.

Suggested “anti-inflammatory” foods:

 

  • Tomatoes, red peppers, beets
  • Green leafy veggies (spinach, kale, collards etc.)
  • Broccoli, cabbage
  • Beans, legumes
  • Raw fruit – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, oranges, cherries, pineapple, apple
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Fish - especially oily fish like salmon, tuna and sardines
  • Herbs and spices such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, and rosemary
  • Dark chocolate – 70% cocoa or higher
  • Chia seeds

 

Berries in tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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