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4 Ways Nutrition Affects Oral Health

April 6, 2022

At Densley Dental, we are passionate about helping our patients maintain great oral health. Nutrition and oral health are closely linked. Here's how they interact and how your diet can contribute to good oral and dental health.

What you eat, how often, and even the way you eat affects the health of your oral cavity (mouth), but oral health also influences your ability to consume enough food and nutrients.

Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and protein are some of the most important nutrients needed to maintain good oral health. Many of these nutrients are also important to maintaining bone health.

Aside from good dental hygiene and regular, semi-annual cleanings, mindful use of nutrition can enhance and maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of dental caries (cavities), enamel decay, and inflammation in the gums.

There are many ways in which nutrition can impact oral health. The most common include:

  1. Your Diet

Diet plays an important role in all aspects of your health, including oral health. Certain acidic foods like grains, fruits, starches, and simple sugars can deteriorate the enamel of your teeth, promoting cavity formation and bacterial growth in the mouth. While you don't need to eliminate all of these foods from your diet, you should be mindful of how often you consume them and what foods you pair them with to ensure good oral health.

  1. How Often You Eat

Consuming food in moderation instead of constantly snacking is also important for dental health. If you eat food frequently, there is a higher chance that food will get stuck in or between your teeth, feeding the bacteria that destroy your enamel.

  1. Your Saliva

As you chew, saliva contains enzymes that begin digestion as well as proteins and ions that provide antimicrobial protection. You are at increased risk of tooth decay and oral infection if you do not produce enough saliva, which is caused by aging, lack of sleep, and some medications. Saliva can also vary in pH level; alkaline saliva promotes healthy teeth and gums, whereas acidic saliva promotes enamel decay and bacterial growth.

  1. Hydration

The level of saliva is also affected by hydration. Hydration is essential for health and well-being, including helping to clear the mouth of food that may promote dental caries. This is why hydration affects nearly every process in the body.

Strategies to maintain oral health through nutrition:

* Maintaining an adequate protein, fibrous vegetable, fruit, and complex carbohydrate diet.

* Eating in appropriate amounts throughout the day.

* Staying well hydrated.

* Maintaining healthy saliva production.

* Practicing good oral hygiene.

Regular dental visits are essential to maintaining oral health. The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends visiting your dentist at least twice a year. If you are due for a dental visit or are interested in life-changing dental treatments in Henderson & Las Vegas like dental implants and dental veneers, you can schedule an appointment with the best Henderson dentist by calling (702) 602-6401.