Your Diet and Your Oral Health

Your Diet and Your Oral Health

Your diet has a direct impact on the size clothes you wear, the numbers on the scale, and health conditions such as diabetes and cholesterol. There is also another aspect to your health that is quite often overlooked, yet it is directly impacted by your diet – your oral health. The foods that you choose to eat and the drinks that you choose to consume have direct effects on your teeth and gums, and because you only receive one set of permanent teeth in your lifetime, it is important that you pay attention to the relationship between your diet and your oral health.

Inside your mouth on any given day, you can find millions of bacteria. The moist, warm environment of your mouth is an ideal place for bacteria to thrive. As you eat and drink anything other than water, there are small particles left behind inside the mouth. The bacteria within your mouth sustain themselves on these food particles, and they want to help you by breaking them down. These particles become trapped in the tight spaces between the teeth, the rough surfaces of the molars, and where the gum line meets the teeth.

While these bacteria want to be helpful, their “help” quickly turns to harm due to how they go about breaking down the particles inside your mouth. As the bacteria work, they begin to produce acids to assist them in their endeavors. It is these acids that cause significant damage in the mouth: cavities, decay, and gum disease. As with all acids, the acids created by the oral bacteria will eat their way through anything that is in their path. This, of course, is your tooth enamel and your gum tissue.

Your diet has a direct relationship with these acids because oral bacteria is the most attracted to sugar. Therefore, the bacteria will congregate in much larger quantities around sugary particles left behind, thus producing more acids in those specific spots. This overabundance of acid makes those places in the mouth extremely vulnerable to decay and infection occurring rapidly.

By limiting your intake of sugar, you are promoting optimal oral health. A healthy diet includes:

  • Lots of water! At least 8, 8 oz. glasses each day
  • Lean sources of protein
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Dry beans and legumes

At Southern Charm Dental, we want to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health in every aspect that pertains to your mouth. Call us today to learn more about how your diet affects your teeth, and how to create a sustainable diet the promotes a lifetime of oral health.