Can a Healthy Diet Treat Gum Disease?

Lower Teeth

You probably already know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for managing your weight and preventing serious conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. But did you know that what you eat can also impact your oral health? A healthy diet on its own cannot treat gum disease, but it could help decrease your risk of developing it. There are even some foods that can reduce the inflammation of active gum disease. Read on to learn more.

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Gum disease starts with bacteria that causes inflammation of the gum tissue. Anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce this inflammation and prevent early gum disease from getting worse and contributing to tooth loss. Foods rich in beta carotene and omega 3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Some examples of foods containing omega 3s are salmon, sardines, eggs, spinach, tofu, and walnuts. Foods rich in beta carotene include carrots, kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe.

In contrast, refined carbohydrates such as white breads and pastas, cookies, candy, cake, and other processed foods have been shown to increase inflammation. There is even research to suggest that a diet low in refined carbohydrates and high in anti-inflammatory foods can help prevent periodontal disease even when the research participants discontinued their oral hygiene practices. Although, we of course do not recommend stopping your oral hygiene routine!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is well known for its role in fighting disease and strengthening your immune system. Vitamin C has been proven to prevent gingivitis, the earliest phase of gum disease. A lack of vitamin C can encourage periodontal bone loss, and many patients with severe gum disease have been found to be deficient in vitamin C. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, potatoes, and broccoli.

If you have any signs of gum disease, it is important to come see us for treatment. While eating a healthy diet is beneficial for both your gum health and your overall health, it is not a substitute for proper oral hygiene and other treatments for gum disease. Call us today to learn more.