6 Foods That Damage Your Gums
What we eat and drink directly influences our oral health, increasing or decreasing the chance of suffering from things like cavities and gum disease. Our food doesn’t just feed us. It also feeds bacteria that live in our bodies. Our mouths are home to millions of different good and bad bacteria, including ones that create the build-up of plaque and tartar. This build-up damages our gums and teeth over time.
From gingivitis to periodontal disease, what you put in your mouth can play a huge role on the health of your gums and can lead to gum recession. Below is a list of 8 foods you should avoid or at least keep in moderation to protect your oral health.
1. White Bread
Saliva breaks down the starch in bread into sugar and sugar is bacteria’s favourite food. Starchy foods like bread become a sticky, gummy, paste-like substance when eaten. This makes it easy to stick around on your teeth and gums and start breaking down into sugar before having the chance to be digested. Wholemeal bread is much better for your oral health as it’s free of the added sugars in processed bread and doesn’t break down as easily from starch to sugar.
Like bread, potatoes are loaded with starch that runs into a sticky sugary feast for the bacteria in your mouth. Whether mashed, baked or fried, potatoes slowly contribute to a bad oral health environment. Drink plenty of water when eating potato to wash that starch away. Potato chips are worst of all as the small particles they break into easily get trapped between teeth.
3. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are a healthy snack full of nutrients and natural energy. However, they can be harmful for your gums and teeth. This is because they are sticky and much higher in sugar than regular fruit due to the drying process. As we know, sticky sugary substances are a great way to feed gingivitis causing bacteria.
Alcohol is bad for your oral health for a variety of reasons. From beers and wine to cocktails, most alcoholic beverages contain a high level of sugars and acids. Alcohol also dries out your mouth. Saliva plays an important role in washing away things that cause harm to your gums and teeth. A dry mouth promotes bacterial growth. Drinking alcohol tends to make you hungry, creating a perfect environment for bad bacteria. Drink lots of water when consuming alcohol to keep your mouth hydrated.
5. Sour Lollies
All candy is bad for your dental health of course, but sour ones deserve a special mention. This is because they are high in both sugar and acids. If they are gummies, they also stick to your teeth! The combination of sugar, acid and stickiness creates the ultimate feeding ground for bacteria.
6. Crackers and Savoury Biscuits
The refined carbohydrates in crackers and biscuits mean they break down to sugar very quickly and can sit in your teeth, just like bread and potatoes. When chewed, these foods tend to become quite sticky and can stay glued to your gums and teeth, allowing bacteria to feed on the sugars. Drink plenty of water and floss to get the little bits out between your teeth.
Schedule a Check Up with Dentist on the Gold Coast
While there’s no need to cut out these foods completely, you should keep them for special occasions and ensure you eat a healthy balanced diet. Of course, you should also visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain great oral health and prevent gum recession. Schedule an appointment today by calling Dentists on the Gold Coast on 07 5531 2053 or make a booking online.