February 10, 2019
Did you know that February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month? Gum disease is an infection of your gums and supportive tissue that can lead to serious oral and overall health issues. With about 50% of the US population affected by gum disease, this is an incredibly common problem that is rarely discussed. In an effort to bring awareness to this disease, your dentist has some recommendations for foods that can help keep your gums healthy.
While onions may cause some stinky breath, they can work wonders for your gums. They have antimicrobial properties that target common types of bacteria that cause gum disease. You can try to incorporate cooked or raw onions into your diet to give your gums an extra boost of health and protection against gum disease.
#2. Leafy Greens
There’s an additional reason why leafy greens like kale and spinach are called super foods: they’re good for your gums! These foods are full of mouth-healthy vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your gums. They contain vitamin C, which boosts the production of red blood cells and reduces inflammation. Both of these benefits battle against gum irritation and disease.
Not only are these leafy greens filled with vitamins, but they are high in fiber. Fiber promotes saliva flow, which helps wash away gum disease-causing plaque and bacteria that buildup in your smile.
#3. Citrus Fruit and Peppers
Vitamin C can also be found in peppers of all colors as well as acidic fruits like oranges, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, and more. Add these colorful, healthy, and of course, delicious items to your plates to keep your gums healthy and reduce your inflammation.
#4. Green Tea
Green tea has been touted for various health benefits for centuries. While many benefits don’t have a lot of evidence to back them up, it has been proven that green tea has antioxidants called catechins that help your gums fight inflammation.
#5. Shiitake Mushrooms
Another staple in the Asian diet, shiitake mushrooms, contains lentinan. This is an antibacterial compound that fights against plaque-building bacteria. This type of bacteria loves to grow in hard-to-reach places like in between your teeth, making anything you can do to eliminate it a valuable benefit. Surprisingly, shiitake mushrooms work well with a variety of dishes—not just Asian, so try to use them into some of your favorite pastas or with red meat.
Even though it’s Gum Disease Awareness Month, you should try to incorporate these foods into your diet year-round. Use these diet tips to give your gums an extra boost of health and protection.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Alex Martin is always finding ways to educate his patients, which is why he wants you to know some surprising foods that can help keep your gums healthy. He currently runs his own practice, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (480) 860-1993 for any questions you may have.
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