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The Link Between Your Diet and Oral Health Problems

Genetics, dental injuries, and social activities (like smoking) are three factors that contribute to oral health problems, but surprisingly, your diet can also contribute to oral health problems.

In this article, Dr. Constantina Bacopoulou highlights how your diet can affect your oral health and small changes to your diet to support a healthy mouth.

How a poor diet can affect your oral health

What you eat (or what you don’t eat) plays a big role in your oral health. For example, an unbalanced diet can lead to:

Tooth decay

Cavity-causing bacteria feed off sugar, and unfortunately, that means too much sugar in your diet can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. When sugar and bacteria interact, it produces an acid that eats away at your enamel.

Candy, cookies, and cake are well-known for containing sugar, but excess sugar can sneak into other food including white bread, soda, sports drinks, juice, and coffee beverages. Juice is one of the sneakiest sources of sugar because many people view juice as healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics even advises against giving juice to kids under the age of one for this reason.

To reduce your risk of cavities, monitor your sugar consumption. If you do eat a sweet treat, be sure to rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth to remove excess sugar from your mouth. Limit sugary beverages and aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Interestingly, your diet can also help prevent cavities too. Eating a piece of cheese after a meal has been shown to reduce your risk of cavities. Raw, crunchy foods, such as apples, can also help prevent cavities by scrubbing off the plaque from your teeth.

Gum disease

Gum disease 一 especially gingivitis一 is associated with low levels of vitamin C. Studies show that boosting vitamin C intake helped improve gingival bleeding. If you don’t include many fresh fruits in your diet, you might miss out on good sources of vitamin C. 

Oranges are well-known for dishing up a tasty dose of vitamin C, but that’s not your only option. Good sources of vitamin C include strawberries, guavas, other citrus fruits, and food fortified with vitamin C. Including more vitamin C-rich foods into your diet helps prevent gum disease by supporting your gum lining.

Broken teeth

Unbalanced diets can increase your risk of decay and gum disease, but certain foods can also increase your risk of chipped or broken teeth. Hard food, such as corn nuts, popcorn, and shelled nuts, can contribute to chips and fractures, damaged crowns, and dislodged fillings. 

Eating non-food items, such as ice, can also damage your teeth. 

Fixing oral problems at the first sign of a problem

Even if you start making changes to your diet, you may still have lingering oral health problems to resolve. Whether you’re dealing with a cavity, gum disease, or a chipped tooth, we can help. Here at Carnegie Dental Wellness, we also offer emergency dental care for urgent dental problems. 

Call us at 646-453-4770 to schedule an appointment at our 58th Street office. You can also schedule an appointment through our online booking system.