Oral health can hold profound signs related to your overall physical health. It can even indicate potentially fatal illnesses long before you experience your first symptom. Taking care of your daily nutrition can help you to prevent these problems before they arise.
A discussion of oral health and nutrition would be remiss without mentioning the role that sugars and simple carbohydrates play. When we consume foods with high levels of sugar in them, those sugars are then converted to tartar and plaque by the bacteria that is naturally present in our mouths. If we don’t remove these sugars through good routine dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, then this can lead to cavities, infections, gum disease, and other forms of oral decay. These oral health problems can lead to debilitating pain and other disability. Avoiding tooth decay through excessive sugar consumption is even more important if you have diabetes. Diabetics must take great care of their oral health and their diets as a whole, because if they don’t they are much more susceptible to infection and cardiac consequences than the average person.
For most people, taking care of your oral health through your nutrition does not have to be a difficult process. Your teeth need several key nutrients in order to remain strong and healthy, and these nutrients can be found in a myriad of foods.
The first of these nutrients is the most obviously. Calcium is vital for maintaining optimal bone health, and the tissue that makes up your teeth, a calcified substance called dentine, requires the same nutrient in order to maintain its strength. When your body is low in calcium, it makes it more likely that injuries will lead to your teeth chipping or breaking. You don’t need to consume dairy products in order to get more calcium. Calcium can be found in leafy greens such as kale, fortified soy beverages, and even almonds!
Next, your body needs an adequate amount of calcium in order to keep your teeth strong. In addition to calcium, dentine is also primarily comprised of phosphorous. This can be found in various kinds of lean meats, seafoods, and nuts.
Finally, an adequate amount of vitamin C is essential. It promotes healthy gums, and prevents a disease known as scurvy. Vitamin C deficiencies are rare in western nations. You can easily get vitamin C through citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, and even peppers. In most cases, a single glass of orange juice can be enough to satisfy your daily recommended allotment of vitamin C.
Maintaining adequate nutrition can be difficult for some of us. If you find that you have problems choosing a variety of healthy foods and cooking them in an interesting way, the services of a dietitian may be able to help.