The Healthy Gums Diet: What to Eat To Avoid Periodontal Disease

Very few oral diseases are as uncomfortable as periodontal disease. The condition typically starts with poor oral hygiene that allows plaque and tartar to build up, and soon leaves patients with sore, inflamed gums, loose teeth, or infections.

Studies suggest that because periodontitis is an inflammatory disease, a healthy gums diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods may be your best bet to fighting the condition. These foods contain vitamins and minerals that help promote great periodontal health … from A to Zinc.

More Orange Veggies

Beta-carotene — the substance that gives orange fruits and veggies their color — is a powerful tool against periodontal disease. It’s a provitamin that your body converts into Vitamin A, which helps fight against inflammation.

Incidentally, studies have found that eating more foods that are high in beta-carotene can improve healing of periodontal disease among non-smokers (smokers have a harder time processing beta-carotene). It also supports healthy skin and mucous membranes … we’re looking at you, gums!

Vitamin C

A glass of orange juice in the morning could do a lot more than just give you a tasty wakeup call. A recent study found that people with gingivitis and periodontal disease tended to have lower levels of Vitamin C than patients with healthy gums. But when the people in the study took supplemental Vitamin C, their gum disease improved. So if you’re looking for a reason to have a second serving of fruit, go right ahead. Your gums will thank you!

Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been shown to help decrease inflammation that contributes to heart disease. But data shows that it can also help prevent periodontal disease. Unfortunately, Omega-3s can only be gotten through foods (your body can’t make them itself). Fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, flaxseed oil, and walnuts are all great sources of Omega-3s.

Zinc

The last piece of the healthy gums diet is zinc. This mineral plays an important role in cell growth, repair, and healing. Not surprisingly, a study found that patients who used the healthy gums diet rich in zinc had better periodontal health than those who had zinc deficiencies. Proteins like red meat, poultry, and nuts are the most common sources of zinc, though oysters contain more zinc per serving than any food.

Looking for more help in fighting periodontal disease? Our team at Dental Specialty Associates would love to help you on your journey. Give us a call at 602-795-5995 to schedule your first visit.

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