Many people think that daily brushing and flossing of teeth is enough to maintain oral health. Unfortunately, this is not always true. While poor dental hygiene is a leading cause of periodontal disease, there are other risk factors such as diet, smoking, hormone changes, stress, and genetic disposition.
Some of the foods we eat can have a detrimental effect on our teeth and gums. There are foods that prevent tooth decay and foods to avoid with receding gums. If you already have advanced gum disease, dentists even have a list of periodontal disease foods to avoid.
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid is key if you want to maintain great oral health. Keep reading for more information on periodontal disease: foods to avoid.
Periodontal Disease: What Is It?
Periodontal disease is an early stage of gum disease also known as gingivitis. It affects the upper layer of gum tissue called the gingiva. The disease occurs when plaque bacteria overrun the mouth and inflame the gum tissue supporting our teeth. Daily brushing and flossing help to keep plaque levels low. But poor dental hygiene allows bacteria to multiply and damage the gums and teeth.
Because gingivitis doesn’t penetrate the deeper gum tissues and bone, some people refer to it as mild periodontal disease. Don’t be mistaken though, gingivitis is anything but mild. One of its main symptoms is bleeding and irritated gums, especially when brushing. You may also experience tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods.
Early-stage periodontal disease responds well to treatment. Your dentist may ask you to improve your oral hygiene. Perhaps you may have to brush your teeth after every meal with fluoride toothpaste. This will prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. You may also need to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or saltwater rinse. This helps to kill plaque and harmful bacteria.
Your dentist may also ask about your diet and ask you to make some improvements to it. If you smoke, you may need to stop.
Periodontal Disease – Foods to Avoid
Certain foods can aggravate periodontal disease. So consider striking these from your diet if you have gingivitis. Below are three major categories of foods to avoid.
Sugary foods are a bad idea whether you have gingivitis or not. But they can worsen the condition. As you know, periodontal disease is caused by inflammation from harmful plaque bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria thrive when they have sugary food particles to feast on. Eating sugary food creates the ideal environment for the bacteria to multiply.
Gluten-containing foods also stick between your teeth, causing receding gums and gum tissue inflammation. Examples of sugary foods to avoid include soft drinks, packed juices, candy, sweet baked goods, chocolate, and liqueurs.
Another category of food you must avoid is acidic food. Plaque bacteria thrive in acidic environments and the acid may also damage your teeth’ enamel. Acidic foods you should avoid for your oral health include citrus fruits, pickled and fermented foods, coffee, tea, and alcohol. Meats and baked goods made from white flour are also acidic, so you should also avoid them.
Periodontal disease exposes the nerves of the teeth making you sensitive to cold foods. Consuming food and drinks at room temperature prevents you from experiencing pain. Crunching on ice cubes is a definite ‘no’ as it may loosen teeth that have been weakened by the disease. Other foods to avoid are popsicles, ice cream, cold drinks, etc. If you are suffering from sensitive teeth your dentist may prescribe a tooth sensitivity toothpaste.
If you suspect that you have periodontal disease it is best to visit a dentist for an accurate diagnosis. Google may give you a general overview of the disease, but your dentist will correctly diagnose your problem and prescribe the best treatment. They will also give you a list of foods to avoid if you have periodontal disease. It is important to get early treatment. Otherwise, the disease can progress to periodontitis, an advanced type of gum disease. This is why dentists recommend visiting them twice a year as they will be able to detect early signs of gum disease.
For more information on how to maintain an effective oral health routine, grab a free copy of Why Me?