Our diets play a central role in our overall health. And unfortunately, in the United States, dietary health is often sacrificed for convenience.
We all lead busy lives. And with hustle culture in full swing with millions of adults adhering to an “all work, no sleep” mindset, taking the time to implement proper nutrition and healthy foods into our lives is often placed on the backburner.
But the truth is, your diet not only plays a huge role in your physical health, but it also plays a major role in your oral health as well. After all, you have to use your mouth to eat, and the first area of your body affected by the foods that you eat is your mouth.
Poor diets and poor dental hygiene can lead to an array of problems that nobody wants to deal with. And many of these can manifest later on in life when our immune systems aren’t as functional.
In the following, we’ll explore the reasons why your diet is the most fundamental part of your oral health.
An Improper Diet Can Cause Gum Disease
Contrary to popular belief, gum disease isn’t only caused by a lack of flossing or brushing. In fact, the basic starting point for gum disease to occur begins with the foods that you eat. And a lot of the foods that Americans eat are notorious for causing gum disease.
Why is this important? Because gum disease can lead to serious infections that can spread to other parts of the body, namely the heart.
When infection enters your bloodstream and is transported to other parts of the body, this is known as Endocarditis. And when this occurs, you could also end up with heart disease and a host of other cardiovascular problems.
Additionally, gum disease can also affect existing heart conditions and make them worse. Further, other physical ailments such as diabetes can also be made worse by severe gum disease.
It’s known by many that tooth decay and gum disease can complement one another. But this isn’t always the case. Regardless, tooth decay can lead to many other problems, many of which are quite painful if left untreated.
The foods you eat also have the ability to wear away at your enamel, and once this occurs, your teeth will start to rot. And nobody wants to smile with a mouth full of rotten teeth.
As such, foods that you want to avoid if you want to mitigate tooth decay are as follows:
- Foods high in acid
- Starchy snacks
- Chewy candy
- Sticky foods
- Foods high in sugar
- Energy drinks
- Juices with high concentrations of sugar
Tooth decay often has to be treated by dentists, or in severe cases, by oral surgeons. And when tooth decay manifests it’s often easily noticeable. As such, you won’t be able to smile confidently. This can affect your daily life in many ways. However, you can buy yourself some time by using realistic-looking teeth, at least until you can have your tooth decay properly remedied.
The types of food that you eat can also cause severe cases of dry mouth over time. And this, in turn, can also cause gum disease, or make existing gum disease even worse and more painful.
Dry mouth is essentially when you don’t produce enough saliva to adequately lubricate your mouth, teeth, and gums. And without proper saliva production, this can result in teeth not being rinsed along with gums becoming dry and infected.
Two of the main culprits which cause dry mouth are smoking and drinking alcohol. And as we all know, excessive alcohol drinking along with habitual smoking or tobacco chewing can cause an entire list of other problems as well.
Additionally, alcohol and tobacco use are largely responsible for most types of oral cancers. As such, it’s best to avoid using either of these substances if at all possible. And if you are an avid smoker or drinker, you may want to consider cutting down significantly in order to help promote healthier teeth and gums.
Our diets are the building blocks of our overall health. And even though oral health might not be taken into consideration by many people when you sit down to eat, this is one area that you need to pay attention to if you want to nurture good oral health. Additionally, not only will a proper diet help with oral hygiene, but it will also work wonders for your quality of life as well.