Keeping to a healthy balanced diet does incredible things for our entire body. One area that often goes unmentioned is our mouth and all its components. Healthy fruit, whole grains, and leafy greens can all help our oral health. By choosing wisely, we can reduce how often we face problems with tooth decay. This choice will also help us reduce the amount of struggle we face with gingivitis and gum disease. While less expensive foods are available, they are higher in sugar and more processed. While convenient, our whole body health suffers as a consequence.
How Our Oral Tissues Are Affected By Our Diet
Looking closely at the state of our mouths can reveal quite a bit about our overall health. It can reveal how we process nutrients and what vulnerability we have to disease down the road. Further, it can reveal health conditions we’re experiencing that may have gone unnoticed previously. Our immune system is complex and works hard to protect us from disease. Eating a balanced diet can help it fend off chronic disease and harmful bacteria.
Countless types of bacteria live in our mouths. Most of them are beneficial, helping us maintain a beautiful smile and healthy tissue. Some of them just exist there and don’t harm us in any way. Streptococcus mutans is the most harmful bacteria that live in our mouth. It is known to be the main actor in tooth decay and periodontal disease. In advanced cases, it can also impact our respiratory system, our digestive tract and cause inflammation. Untreated, the conditions mutans cause can have serious consequences.
Plaque, tartar, and cavities are all the result of the work of the mutans bacteria. They are also all things directly tied to the development of periodontal disease. In the beginning, it causes swollen gums and tenderness. As it advances, it can lead to abscesses, tooth loss, and jawbone degradation. The infection that creates abscesses causes serious concerns for our oral health. On a long enough timeline, it can also cause life-threatening concerns.
The Effect Our Diet Has On The Fight Against The Mutans Virus
The best conditions for the growth of the mutans virus are those rich in carbohydrates and sugars. This combination, unfortunately, describes the diet of many Americans. This fact puts them at substantial risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Glucose is the primary culprit in these substances that helps mutans do their work. It is also directly involved in heart disease, diabetes, and the development of fat. StatPearls serves as a source for published studies showing the impact of diet on our health. Results from these studies show that adding these foods to our diet can help:
- Vegetables and fruits that are good sources of fiber
- Dairy products to provide Vitamin D and Calcium
- Seafood, meat, and vegetable protein sources
The most crucial step is the removal of processed foods from our diet. These foods are sources of hidden sugars and fats that can impact our health. See your dentist to discuss your dietary choices and what better options are available.