5 Foods that Benefit Oral Health

oral health foods

oral health foodsServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

Your oral health can positively or negatively impact your overall well-being. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can lower your risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Conversely, neglected oral health can increase your susceptibility to diabetes, gum disease, and may even cause complications during a pregnancy.

You also know that nutrition is directly tied to your health, but did you know that your dentist also can make dietary recommendations? In fact, your Greeneville family dentist at Tusculum Dental Care compiled this list of five foods that can improve your oral health.

  1. Cacao nibs: It may come as an initial surprise that chocolate would be included among the foods that aid one’s oral health. However, cacao nibs have little to no sugar. The other properties of cacao nibs help your oral condition. They prevent cavities by keeping bacteria at bay and can help safeguard against the formation of cavity-causing plaque on your teeth.
  2. Grass-fed dairy: Products like cheese and butter are high in both calcium and phosphates, both of which are nutrients that help teeth thrive. These dairy products are also high in Vitamin K2, which is vital for healthy teeth and gums.
  3. Fatty fish: Very common as part of a healthy meal plan for the omega-3s, fatty fish is also high in Vitamin D, a nutrient known to be extremely beneficial to all systems of your body. However, a lesser-known fact about Vitamin D is that it also helps to reduce tooth decay. It works in harmony with Vitamins K and K2 to provide calcium for your teeth, thus strengthens your enamel–the protective outer layer of your tooth structure. As for those omega-3 fats, they help to reduce symptoms of gum disease. Tuna, mackerel, salmon and trout are all fishes rich in vitamin D and omega-3s.
  4. Leafy greens: Healthy oral bacteria feast on these prebiotics. Unlike foods high in carbohydrates, leafy greens help to produce more of the nitrite-reducing bacteria. These are positive bacteria that increase your body’s production of nitric oxide, a natural method of defense against harmful bacteria and pathogens. Darker greens such as kale, spinach, swiss chard and arugula are best for your teeth, as they’re also higher in the minerals that help strengthen the structure of your teeth.
  5. Grapefruit and oranges: While acidic foods tend to be detrimental for teeth, citrus fruits can benefit oral health if consumed in moderation. They’re high in Vitamin C, which actually strengthens the blood vessels and connective tissue in your mouth, and slows the progression of the inflammation that can lead to gum disease. Studies have even shown that consuming grapefruit daily for two weeks can even reduce bleeding gums.

Family Dentistry in Greeneville, Erwin and Jonesborough in Tennessee

Remember, you are what you eat. At Tusculum Dental Care, in addition to providing cleanings, dental examinations, and treating any needs you may have, we also offer nutrition counseling. To find out more about this or any of our services, call our office at (423) 639-7575 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.