March is National Nutrition Month and Dr. Leslie-Anne Fitzpatrick, family and cosmetic dentist, would like to highlight the important connection between oral health and nutrition to ensure you have good overall health and longevity.
How Your Oral Health And Nutrition Are Related
There is a two way relationship between your oral health and nutrition. Your oral health affects the nutrients you are able to consume and your diet and nutrition affects the health of your teeth and gums.
Certain foods and beverages you eat and drink, particularly sugar, can lead to dental issues such as cavities, tooth erosion, gum disease, loose teeth, or even tooth loss. These painful and upsetting dental issues can make it harder to chew and therefore you lose important nutrients required for a healthy mouth and your overall health.
Ways to Improve Your Oral Health Relating to Nutrition
What To Eat — Your diet should consist of foods that are high in fiber, and contain nutrients that are healthy for your mouth such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. For example: grass-fed dairy, cacao nibs, leafy green vegetables, oranges, and fatty fish.
What To Avoid — You should avoid sugary, acidic, and processed foods as well as foods that are high in carbohydrates that don’t have a high nutritional value. For example: dried fruit, crackers, and candy.
What To Drink — Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid sugary drinks such as juice and soda.
Snack Less — The more you snack throughout the day, the more likely you are to have food left behind in your teeth. Ideally you would brush after each snack, but if you can’t, it’s useful to at least rinse your mouth with water to remove some of the lingering food.
How To Know If Your Mouth Is Unhealthy
First and foremost, if you make regular trips to your Petworth dentist, Dr. Fitz will recognize any early signs of dental issues relating to your nutrition. However, it’s important to be aware of some early signs of dental problems so you can make an appointment with your Petworth dentist as soon as possible if you notice anything in between visits. Look out for:
Pain or achiness in the teeth or gums
Bleeding in the mouth or gums
Tenderness around your teeth and gums
Consistent bad breath
Sores or abscesses
Dr. Fitz cannot express enough how important your nutrition is to your oral and overall health. If you have any questions or need advice on how to improve your diet, Dr. Fitz will be happy to guide you to some useful resources. If you have missed your bi-annual dental exam or are experiencing any dental issues, please contact our Petworth dental office so Dr. Fitz can help you as soon as possible. Chewing is a fundamental part of life, so it’s important that we help fix any issues so that you can enjoy your life and have great long term health.