Why Your Diet Affects your Mouth

How you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future – is affected by what you eat every day. This will not only affect your general health but also your oral health.

With this in mind, good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of diabetes and chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.

So how does this affect my oral health?

Every time you eat or drink anything sugary your teeth are under attack for up to one hour. Sugar is broken down in the mouth and converted to acid. Acid causes decay, and will erode the tooth surface. So food and drinks that contain acid can be just as harmful. This means it is important to limit the amount of sugary and acid foods we eat and try to keep them to meal times.

Fruit and foods that is good for you:

  • Pears, apples and peaches
  • Low fat cheese
  • Unflavoured crisps
  • Unsweetened yogurt
  • Fibrous raw veg e.g. carrots and celery
  • Breadsticks
  • Crumpets
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Rice cakes

Foods which can cause more harm:

  • Sweets and other confectionery
  • Biscuits and cake
  • Carbonated drinks e.g. coca cola
  • Pure citrus fruit juices
  • Tea and coffee with sugary

Special care needs to be taken when it comes to hidden sugars. For example:

  • Flavoured crisps
  • Table sauces, including ketchup
  • Cooking sauce, especially those with a tomato base
  • Some breakfast cereals
  • Soups
  • Energy drinks
  • Some processed ready meals
  • Some low fat products, as sugar is often artificially added to improve their taste.
  • Tinned fruits

Brushing your teeth helps remove food and plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the tooth surface, this film contains bacteria. If plaque isn’t removed it can harden into tartar and this makes it hard for you to keep your teeth clean Everyone develops plaque because bacteria are constantly growing in our mouths, so it is not easy to see .Plaque that is not removed from around the gum line will cause inflammation and irritation to the gums around the teeth a good brushing regime is essential. Tartar is a mineral build up that is fairly easy to see, if above the gum line. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown deposit between the lower front teeth or at the gum line. Brushing should be done at night before bed and at one other time in the day. It should be thorough two minutes brushing all surfaces of the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. It is

especially important to brush before bed as plaque will have built up all day from the foodstuffs consumed ,the flow of saliva slows down at night which is the mouths own cleaning system, this leaves the mouth more at risk form decay.

It is recommended to wait an hour after eating before brushing your teeth, this allows the acid to be neutralised.

So how does my oral health impact on my general health?

For over 100 years we have known that inflammation of the oral tissues causes a stress response from the body. So if you have a condition such as diabetes imagine how your body is now trying to fight two things. And you can do something about one of them very simply. So a healthy mouth will not cure your diabetes but it will help your GP stabilise it.

We also know there are links between gum disease and heart disease, alzheimers, IBS, strokes and rheumatoid arthritis.

So now that two minutes every morning and evening seems a small price to pay for maintaining that healthy lifestyle. And regular visits to us for your 12 point dental health check gives you that reassurance that you are doing the best you can.

For more information or to book your 12 point Dental Health check with Dental@155 Please Call to speak to Our Team 01332 209647.