Did you know that February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month? Gum disease, an infection of your gums and supportive tissue, affects about 50% of the US population. While your teeth typically get the spotlight, this month focuses on the importance of your gums! They have the important job of keeping your teeth safe and secure, which means you’ll want to take care of them, right? Keep reading to learn some of the best foods you can eat that actually promote gum health from an expert dentist.
Did you know that onions neutralize oral bacteria? They actually have microbial properties that target the most common types of bacteria that cause gum disease. If you want to give your gums an extra health boost, try incorporating more onions into your diet.
#2. Green Tea
Green tea, rich in antioxidants, can help with inflammation in your body. This can even help inflammation in your gums caused by oral bacteria. You can try drinking a cup of green tea each day to reduce inflammation and keep your gums healthy.
#3. Leafy Greens
Leafy veggies like kale and spinach are filled with valuable vitamins and minerals. They have a lot of vitamin C, which boosts the production of your red blood cells and reduces inflammation. Additionally, leafy greens stimulate saliva flow, which helps wash away food debris and bacteria that can cause gum disease.
#4. Peppers and Citrus Fruits
Peppers and acidic fruits like kiwis, oranges, pineapple, and strawberries are also rich in vitamin C. You can add these to your diet to further reduce inflammation in your body and gums. Just be sure to brush your teeth twice a day if you’re eating these fruits because the acid can cause cavities.
#5. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms have an antibacterial compound in them called lentinan. This secret ingredient fights bacteria that breeds in and around your gumline, decreasing your risk of gum disease. Thankfully, shiitake mushrooms can be easily incorporated into many different types of meals to reap their benefits.
#6. Cheese, Yogurt, and Milk
You may have known that dairy products are great for your teeth because of their calcium, but did you know that cheese, yogurt, and milk are good for your gums, too? These items contain a protein called casein, which helps to neutralize oral acids produced by bacteria.
Now that you know some of the healthiest foods for your gums, you can celebrate National Gum Disease Awareness Month the right way! Plate yourself up some of these delicious and healthy foods to keep your gums in tip-top shape.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Megan A. Shelton is a dentist with a passion for quality care. She believes in patient education, which is why she wants you to know the best foods to eat for healthy gums. She currently practices at Polished General Dentistry, and she can be contacted through her website or by phone at (760) 434-9800 for any questions you may have.