When dealing with periodontal disease, there are many things that can help treat it. Diet, of course, is one of them—but what specifically should you avoid when you have periodontal disease? What types of food should you eat? With periodontal disease, foods to avoid include highly acidic and sugary substances.
Periodontal Disease: What is It?
Periodontal disease occurs when the tissue that holds your teeth in place gets infected. Improper brushing and flossing can cause plaque to build up and harden around the teeth. We constantly have bacteria in our mouth, and plaque is a sticky, odorless substance that good oral hygiene can easily remove. But when plaque remains and hardens on the teeth, it becomes tartar, which then needs to be removed by a professional. The result is an infection of the gums, sometimes also called gum disease or periodontitis.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease moves through several stages as the infection becomes more serious, but the following are some of the most common symptoms associated with periodontal disease:
- Red or swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Constant bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums or teeth appearing longer
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important you talk to your dentist as soon as possible to get some guidance.
Periodontal Disease: Foods to Avoid
When discussing oral health, diet is an important factor to look at. What are some foods to avoid with receding gums?
Acidic foods are one of the fundamental things best avoided with gum disease. This includes black coffee, tea, citrus fruits, and pickled vegetables. These things can increase inflammation and aggravate your gums more.
Sugar is a well-known culprit in gum disease and cavities and best kept to the bare minimum. Remember, sugary foods are more than just candies and chocolate. Sugar is also found in white bread, pasta sauce, some types of peanut butter, applesauce and yogurt. Reading labels and knowing how much sugar is in your food will benefit your teeth and gums. If you have a sweet tooth, these sugar free CariFree lollies are a yummy and healthy option.
Cold food and drinks can also be tricky. Because periodontal disease affects the nerves in your teeth and gums, cold items can cause discomfort and pain.
Foods You Can Eat With Periodontal Disease
The good news is that there are foods that prevent tooth decay and improve overall oral health. Foods that can help are foods high in omega-3s, such as nuts, seeds, and oily fish like salmon. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that benefit the immune system.
Green tea is beneficial as well because of its high amount of catechins, which are an essential nutrient for fighting gum disease. Cacao is also rich in catechins, but it is best to eat 70% or raw chocolate to avoid a high sugar content.
Vitamin C fights gum disease too, and red and green peppers are a substantial source of this. Just one cup of red pepper gives you 300 percent of your daily vitamin C intake.
Going Forward With Periodontal Disease
If you suspect you have periodontal disease, it is important you visit your dentist for an examination and proper treatment. If you have already been treated and diagnosed, your diet choices can help you on your way to recovery. With periodontal disease, knowing foods to avoid will be a big help in recovery. Eating foods that supports your teeth and gums along with proper brushing and flossing will have you healthy again in no time. Remember to discuss any significant diet changes with your doctor and to continue to take good care of your mouth.