The Connection Between Diet & Oral Health
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that what you put into your mouth affects your oral health. Yes, diet plays a big role in your overall dental hygiene. If you’re drinking too many sugary soft drinks or sweetened fruit juices, or if you’re munching on too many sweets and non-nutritious foods, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk for developing tooth decay.
Tooth decay occurs when plaque combine with sugar in your mouth to create a damaging bacteria that wreaks havoc on your teeth.
Eating food that contains sugar can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. It’s important to read the nutrition labels and ingredient lists on the food and drinks you buy and opt for the ones with very little or no sugar.
Common sources of sugar include candy, soft drinks, fruit drinks, and cookies. There’s a good chance you already knew that those foods and drinks weren’t exactly good for you. But what you may not know is that there are a surprising number of foods with hidden sugars, potentially affecting your oral health without you even knowing it.
When trying to limit your sugar intake, pay close attention and look out for foods with hidden sugars. Some of those secret culprits include:
Have you ever paid attention to what’s really in barbecue sauce, pasta sauce, or salad dressing? Just two tablespoons of barbecue sauce or ½ cup of pasta sauce can have as much as 12 grams of sugar, which is more than a glazed donut!
You stock your fridge full of yogurt thinking you’re doing your body a favor. It turns out, you could be consuming one of the biggest sugar bombs found in the supermarket. While yogurt can be a great source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein, you’ll have to hunt for the low sugar versions or else you’re doing more damage than good.
- Dried fruit
When looking for a healthy snack, many people will load their pantry with dried fruit thinking they’re doing their body a favor. In some cases, dried fruit is no different than candy. In fact, for some versions just ⅓ cup can have 24 grams of sugar!
- Granola bars
Similar to yogurt and dried fruit, a lot of people may think they’re doing themselves a favor by snacking on granola bars. But in most cases, in terms of sugar, the granola bars are no different than candy bars. Just one bar can have just as much or more sugar as a glazed donut. That being said, granola bars can make a healthy snack. We suggest either making your own at home with low sugar or sugar-free ingredients, or shopping around for granola bars that contain very little added sugar.
Crash Diets & Oral Health
And while it may be tempting to try crash diets and super restrictive meal plans to drop a pant size, not providing your body with essential nutrients is detrimental to your oral health. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it can be harder for the tissues in your mouth to resist infection, which can contribute to gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and if you have poor nutrition, the disease and progress faster and become more severe.
The best way to get and stay healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet consisting of a variety of nutrients. Your body and your mouth will thank you!
Call Our Tulsa, OK Office Today To Learn More
For more information on keeping your mouth healthy and avoiding foods and drinks that can wreck your mouth, call Galleria of Smiles. We encourage you to schedule your next cleaning, during which we can discuss your lifestyle habits contributing to the health of your mouth.