March 19, 2015
March is National Nutrition Month. It’s a time for us to focus on the importance of making important food choices. We all know that a well balanced diet is essential to healthy living. Healthy teeth and gums are essential for chewing and swallowing. Without good digestion, a person’s overall health could be affected. We often note the first signs of poor nutrition in the oral health during our exam.
Two of the most common diseases of modern civilization are tooth decay and gum disease. Studies show that by improving our diet we can decrease decay and gum disease because certain foods are linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. According to the Academy of General Dentistry: “Although poor nutrition does not directly cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients. Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be a higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as a part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.”
Ninety-two percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth. One out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease, according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Our goal is to educate our patients about good nutrition so we can decrease that number!
Some tips to reduce your chances of tooth decay include:
• Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to remove sugars and food particles from your teeth.
• Limit between meal snacking.
• Keep added sugar in your diet to a minimum by making wise food and beverage choices.
• Include dairy, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and water in your diet.
For more information about healthy eating habits and other information about nutrition and dental care visit: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/
Until next time,
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring!