Following a proper oral hygiene routine is necessary to keep your teeth healthy. But, pay appropriate attention to your gums as well if you wish to avoid serious dental problems. Gum disease is usually caused due to the buildup of plaque, a sticky film-like layer that forms on the gums and consists of harmful bacteria.
Certain food items contribute to plaque formation, leading to gingivitis (a minor form of gum disease). If left untreated for an extended period, gingivitis can develop into a more advanced stage of gum disease (periodontitis). This stage can cause gum recession, loose teeth, infection, and even loss of teeth.
Undergoing regular dental examinations and cleaning sessions at your family dentist’s office, maintaining a balanced diet, and good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day and flossing will improve your general health and also help prevent gum disease. Regular plaque removal by brushing and flossing is crucial as daily plaque buildup from food can harden into tartar in a few days. Only a professional cleaning session can help get rid of this hardened tartar.
However, avoiding or limiting certain food items that damage your teeth and causes gum disease. You should also monitor if your child consumes these food items or beverages and take them for regular checkups with a dentist specializing in the field of pediatric dental care.
Food Items That Can Cause Gum Disease
We have provided the food items and beverages that can be the reason for gum disease or periodontal problems in the sections below.
1. Sports Drinks and Soda
Sugary and acidic beverages like soda and sports drinks are particularly bad for your teeth and gums. The bacteria present in the plaque thrive in the presence of sugar, which ultimately converts it into acid and causes enamel erosion and gum disease. Caffeinated drinks are also bad for your gums as the caffeine usually causes dry mouth.
2. Coffee, Tea, and Alcoholic Beverages
Coffee, tea, and other alcoholic beverages reduce saliva flow to the mouth, which can lead to gum disease. It is advisable to limit the consumption of these beverages and rinse your mouth with water after consuming caffeinated or acidic drinks. Do not hesitate to consult your dentist if you suffer from chronic dry mouth problems.
3. Acidic Fruits and Beverages
Fruit juice consists of sugar which is bad for your dental health. Also, acidic fruits and juices are damaging as they contain high amounts of acid. Limiting your intake of tomatoes, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits is a smart idea. Stick to less acidic juices such as apples, peaches, carrots, etc.
4. Dried Fruits and Candies
Sticky candies like gummy bears, caramels, and sugary chewing gums harm your teeth and gums. They can contribute to the chances of suffering from gum disease or periodontal problems. Similarly, dried fruits are sticky in nature and facilitate bacterial growth.
This does not mean that you need to completely avoid these food items. Dried fruits consist of many vitamins that are good for your overall health. Thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after eating sticky treats. Make sure not to brush your teeth for at least thirty minutes of eating. The reason is simple: brushing right after consuming these food items will push the acids further into the tooth enamel.
5. Starchy Foods
Crackers, pasta, white bread, and other baked products are simple carbs and can be easily converted into sugar. They also become very sticky while chewing and coat the teeth and gums, which ultimately allows the bacteria to grow in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. Instead, consume more whole grains, which are also better for your overall dental health.
Now that you know the food items causing gum disease make sure to either avoid them or limit their consumption. Talk to your dentist if you have any further questions about this topic. Book an appointment with us if you are suffering from periodontal problems and are looking for the best gum disease treatment in Plantation. We are fortunate to have the best Plantation dentist who is focused on understanding the requirements of the patients and providing treatment plans accordingly.