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The impact your diet has on your teeth

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Dentistry, Oral Health


Everyone knows that eating too much sugar can cause tooth decay and cavities. But did you know there are other hidden ways your diet can negatively impact your oral health?

1. Unhealthy Diet & Your Immune System: Your immune system keeps you strong and healthy…but it needs the right fuel to work effectively. If you don’t eat nutritious meals, your immune system weakens and becomes less capable of fighting infections—including those of the gums and mouth. Lingering infections can result in inflamed gums, cavities, and other tooth issues, not to mention a lot of pain. Sound like something you want to avoid? Stick to a balanced diet—and remember that anything you choose to eat ultimately affects your oral health.

2. Not Drinking Enough Water: The bacteria that cause cavities and gum infections thrive when the mouth is dry. A dry mouth also lowers the naturally occurring acid levels in your mouth, which makes it easier for sugars and bacteria to damage your teeth. By drinking water steadily throughout the day, you’ll create a healthier environment in your mouth by increasing moisture and helping to balance acidity.

3. Acidic Foods & Drinks: Acid in everyday food and drink attacks tooth enamel, causing decay, sensitivity, and discoloration. It’s right up there with sugar as something to avoid to protect your teeth. You’ll find high acid levels in citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, vinegar-y foods like pickles, coffee, and wine (the latter two also tend to dehydrate you…see #2!). Sodas are another main offender—including diet. If you consume things from this list, try to drink water alongside them and use a straw with beverages to avoid contact with your teeth. You can also lessen the effect of acidic foods by pairing them with low-acid foods like cheese, eggs, fish, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, oatmeal, and fruits like bananas, apples, and melons.

4. Starchy Foods: When you consume starchy, carbohydrate-rich food like bread, pasta, potatoes, and white rice, you face a double whammy of oral health danger. First, whenever starch comes into contact with the plaque bacteria that coats your teeth, it produces acids which then attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes after you’ve finished eating. Sustained attacks eventually result in decay and damage to teeth, bones and gums. Second, starchy snacks like chips and crackers and the foods mentioned above break down into sticky particles that are more apt to get stuck in your teeth. This gives them more time to transform into acids. To defend against the starch attack, drink water during carb-heavy meals and always brush and floss after them.

Jan
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Is Your City Fluoridating Their water? Here’s One That Didn’t

Although scientists have already provided ample evidence that fluoridating drinking water can help reduce dental carries (cavities), many cities still choose to forego fluoridation. If your city is choosing to stop fluoridating their water or if the water isn’t currently being fluoridated, this story of what happened in Juneau, Alaska might be a wake-up call. […]

Dec
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The Abuse of Teeth in Nursing Homes

By the time you have reached your seventies, your teeth are tired. Even with proper care and regular trips to the dentist, your teeth and gums have gone through a lifetime of wear and tear. Teeth can withstand this wear and tear if they have received proper care and treatment throughout their life, but for […]

Dec
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What is Enamel and How Does it Work?

If you’ve ever been to the dentist, then you’ve heard them talk about enamel. Dentists spend a lot of time talking to their patients about enamel, plaque, and tooth decay. We believe that to really understand how to keep your teeth healthy, you have to know what enamel is and how best to take care […]

Nov
25

Treating Cracked and Chipped Teeth

Cracked a Tooth? Cracking or chipping your tooth can be extremely painful. While a chipped or cracked tooth may cause issues with chewing, biting, and eating, it can also cause further harm to your other teeth. What Happens? A cracked tooth can cause harm to the root of the tooth and can sometimes lead to […]

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