The Effects of Diet on Oral Health

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People tend to forget that their teeth and gums are living flesh and bone that need high-quality nutrients to maintain good oral health. What we eat and drink and how often we eat and drink certain foods can greatly affect our general health as well as our oral health.

We already know that consuming too much sugar through eating sugary foods and drinking sugar-filled drinks is a major cause of tooth decay. However, while most people will actively avoid eating sweets and sugary drinks for their health, they will still eat a lot of foods containing sugar that can cause plaque build-up, and therefore enamel erosion and the development of dental caries.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth and thrives on the sugars found in your everyday food and drink. It eats the sugar contained in your food and drink and excretes acid that will act to wear away the tooth enamel.

Why oral hygiene is so important

While it may seem like a pain to clean your teeth every day, if you do not brush your teeth properly after eating and drinking, plaque bacteria will quickly multiply and build upon the surface of your teeth and along the gum line.

The plaque produces plaque acids that dissolve the very thin, hard protective enamel surface of your teeth. Once the enamel is worn away, or if your enamel is cracked, bacteria can invade the soft inner tooth pulp and cause an infection. This causes your tooth to decay and results in painful cavities in your teeth that need to be filled.

If tooth decay is left for too long, then teeth can break down to a level that they can no longer be saved and you will suffer from tooth loss.

Dental plaque and gum health

Dental plaque that builds up along the gum line is also bad because plaque releases chemicals that irritate the gums. This can make them red, sore and inflamed. Your gums can feel very sensitive and will bleed easily when brushed.

This eventually leads to gum disease and receding gums, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum tissue pulls away from the teeth allowing open pockets to form that will full up with bacteria, infections and pus.

If you neglect your gums and don’t get them treated, then eventually bacteria will get into the jaw bone causing infection and bone breakdown. This makes your teeth loose and they need to be extracted.

Avoiding sugary foods

It is very hard to escape sugar-containing foods and drinks. While you can avoid the obvious things such as sweets, chocolates, pastries, cakes and fizzy drinks, there are plenty of other foods that contain sugar, such as milk, bread, cereals, fruits and vegetables. These all contain some form of sugar.

This is why you need to make sure that you brush your teeth well even when actively trying to cut down on consuming sugar for the sake of your oral health as well as your general health.

Glow Dental hygienist

You can book an appointment with our Glow Dental hygienist in Battersea for a regular deep clean that can be far more effective than tooth brushing at home. Having your teeth professionally cleaned by our hygienist means that you can get the tooth surfaces cleaned that you cannot reach with your toothbrush, meaning that all trapped food particles, plaque and tartar build-up can be effectively removed.

You can also talk to our hygienist about following a healthy diet that contains low-sugar foods that help to nourish your teeth and gums.