What You Eat Can Worsen or Heal Gingivitis
If you have gingivitis, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, nearly 48% of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal disease, like gingivitis. Managing gingivitis can be a struggle, but working with dental specialists like the pros at Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center can make it easier to keep gingivitis under control and even heal from it.
Professional dental cleanings and dental care are a must for treating gingivitis—so is good oral hygiene, and that includes brushing twice a day and flossing every day. But what you eat also plays a big role in the severity of your gingivitis. When you combine regular dental care with good daily oral hygiene and a healthy gingivitis-fighting diet, you increase your chances of beating gingivitis and preventing periodontal disease and tooth loss.
What you put in your mouth plays a big role in your oral health, so knowing what to eat and what not to eat to heal gingivitis can make a big difference.
What not to eat to heal gingivitis.
There are three primary categories of foods and drinks that you should avoid at all costs if you want to heal your gingivitis. These foods and drinks cause bacteria to grow at very fast rates, and that can make gingivitis worse. If you have gingivitis you should be avoiding the following.
Acidic foods can make gingivitis worse because the acid in the food wears down the enamel of your teeth and allows bacteria to thrive. Some acidic foods seem healthy, like citrus fruit or fruit juice, which does contain healthy vitamins, but the acidic qualities makes those foods risky for anyone with gingivitis. Acidic foods that you should avoid if you have gingivitis are:
- Any pickled foods or pickles.
- Citrus fruit and citrus fruit juice.
- Black tea.
- Sodas, including diet soda.
If you want to keep your gingivitis under control—or get rid of it completely—then you also need to stop eating sugary foods. This can be tough for some people, but sugar is something that can make gingivitis and periodontal disease much worse. The bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease live on sugar, so the more sugar you eat, the more bacteria you will have in your mouth. If you have a massive sweet tooth and you can’t give up sweets, then at least eat sweets that are made with sugar substitutes . But you should try to give up sugar altogether, even if means giving up foods like:
- Cookies and cakes.
- Drinks that contain sugar like smoothies, sodas, and milkshakes.
- Sauces that contain sugars.
- Donuts and pastries.
Even some types of gum contain sugar, so always read the product label before buying a pack of gum and opt for sugar-free options containing xylitol.
Foods and drinks that dry your mouth out.
When your mouth is dry, it can make gingivitis worse. To avoid dry mouth you should stay away from things like:
- Crackers and chips.
- Coffee or caffeinated beverages.
- Energy drinks.
Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to keep your mouth hydrated.
What you should eat to heal gingivitis.
It might seem like there’s a pretty long list of foods and drinks that you need to avoid if you want to heal gingivitis. But the good news is that there are still plenty of foods and drinks that you can eat that will help heal gingivitis. You should be eating a lot of these foods to get rid of gingivitis.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and boost your body’s immune system, which will help your mouth kill the unhealthy bacteria that cause gingivitis. Some foods that are packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids are:
- Peanut butter.
Beta Carotene is another powerful anti-inflammatory. It also gives your body what it needs to make Vitamin A, which in some studies has been shown to heal gingivitis. Foods that contain a lot of beta carotene are:
- Sweet Potatoes.
- Leafy greens.
Vitamin C is essential for good oral health. It also provides a strong boost to the body’s immune system. Citrus fruit is what most people eat to get Vitamin C, but it’s not the only source of Vitamin C. Because citrus fruit can be acidic, people with gingivitis should limit their intake of citrus fruit and eat more:
- White potatoes.
- Bell peppers.
- Brussel sprouts.
You can also drink herbal teas that have Vitamin C in them.
Regular dental care is also important.
Experts recommend taking a three-pronged approach to managing gum disease. You need to eat the right foods, practice good oral hygiene, and get regular professional dental cleanings and evaluations. For help managing your gingivitis, and the best dental care in Philadelphia, book an appointment with Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthetic Center today.