only is your diet important to your general health, it is also important to your
If you do not eat a balanced diet, you are more likely to get
tooth decay and gum disease. Developing teeth can also be affected. Children who
have a poor diet are more likely to have dental problems. Likewise, pregnant
women need balanced diets for their babies' teeth to develop normally.
Diet and tooth decay
How does the food you eat
cause tooth decay? When you eat, food passes through your mouth. Here it meets
the germs, or bacteria, that live in your mouth. You may have heard your dentist
talk about plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria.
These bacteria love sugars and
starches found in many foods. When you don't clean your teeth after eating,
plaque bacteria use the sugar and starch to produce acids that can destroy the
hard surface of the tooth, called enamel. After a while, tooth decay occurs. The
more often you eat and the longer foods are in your mouth, the more damage
Gum disease and nutrition
can cause gum disease to progress faster and become more sever in
individuals whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients. Poor
nutrition affects the entire immune system leaving people at a higher risk for
Choose foods wisely
Some foods that you would
least expect contain sugars or starches. Some examples are fruits, milk, bread,
cereals and even vegetables.
The key to choosing foods
wisely is not to avoid these foods, but to think before you eat. Not only what
you eat but when you eat makes a big difference in your dental health. Eat a
balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If you are on a special diet, keep
your physician's advice in mind when choosing foods. For good dental health,
keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks.
Tips for better dental
|To get a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods.
Choose foods from each of the five major food groups: |
cereals and other grain products
poultry and fish
cheese and yogurt
|Limit the number of snacks that you eat. Each time
you eat food that contains sugars or starches, the teeth are attacked by
acids for 20 minutes or more. |
|If you do snack, choose nutritious foods, such as
cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, sugarless candy and/or gum or a piece of fruit. |
|Foods that cling to your
teeth promote tooth decay, so avoid snacking on soft, sweet, sticky foods
like cake, candy and dried fruits.
|Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less
harm. More saliva is released during a meal, which helps wash foods from the
mouth and helps lessen the effects of acids.
|Always keep your mouth
moist by drinking lots of water. |
|If you have a dry mouth
supplement your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate saliva.
|When you eat fermentable
carbohydrates like crackers, cookies and chips eat them as part of your meal
instead of by themselves.
|East combination foods
like cheese and crackers to help inhibit tooth decay.
|Avoid eating too much. It
can not only lead to becoming overweight, it can lead to dental disease as
|Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste that has
the American Dental
Association Seal of Acceptance. |
|Clean between your teeth daily with floss or use interdental cleaners. |
Conditions such as tooth
loss, pain or joint dysfunction can impair chewing there by restricting your
diet which can lead to a poor nutritional intake and put you at risk to other
health problems so................
Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can help
prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur while they are
easy to treat.
Erosion Consume pickles, lemons and
soft drinks in moderation
Frequently consuming foods with a low
pH value, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, pickles, fresh
fruit and yogurt can lead to irreversible dental erosion.
Dental erosion is the break down of tooth structure caused by
the effect of acid on the teeth. Dental enamel is the thin,
outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's
structure and shape while protecting it from decay.
A low pH environment in the mouth helps
contribute to dental erosion. pH (potential of hydrogen) is
a standard way to measure the acidity of a substance. It is
measured on a scale of 0 to 14. A lower pH means that a
solution contains more acid. The higher the pH, the more
alkaline (or non-acidic) the solution will be. When a solution
is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7, which is neutral.
When food or drink that is acidic is consumed
the enamel will soften for a short amount of time.
Typically, saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of
the acid found in the mouth. If foods high in acid are
consumed on an excessive basis, the mouth can't repair itself
and the greater the chance for dental erosion.
As the availability of soft drinks increase so
does the amount of erosion in our population. The primary
action patients can take to decrease their likelihood of erosion
is to reduce consumption of sugary sodas, fruit juices and
sports drinks.Vegetarian diets and diets in which fruit
comprises more than 66 percent of the total food intake also
makes patients more susceptible to erosion. Erosion can also
be caused by stomach acids introduced into the mouth through
vomiting and acid reflux.
These findings are important and suggest
that caution should be exercised when consuming certain foods
over long periods of time.
Acids found in common foods
Soft drinks - Phosphoric acid
Fruit and fruit products - Citric and
Fermented products (yogurt) - Lactic
Grapes and wines - Tartaric acid
After eating or drinking
Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate
Rinse with water for 30 seconds
Use a fluoride toothpaste
January/February 2005 issue of
Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD)
Samantha Shipley, DDS, and lead author of the report.
Dental considerations related to diet
Sibutramine (MeridiaR, Abbott)is
an appetitie suppressant and anorexiant; a serotonin,
dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.
Administration of anesthetics containing epinephrine and
other vasoconstrictors should be avoided as patients are
prone to increased blood pressure and heart rate.
The antibiotics erythromycin,
clarithromycin, ketoconazole, fluconazole, and micronazole
inhibit the breakdown of sibutramine in the liver and
thereby influence the drug's effectiveness. Xerostomia
is also an oral side effect that also needs to be
Orlistat (Xenical, La Roche), can cause
gastrointestinal distress and loss of bowel control which
may require additional time for appointments and frequent
breaks in treatment. Decreased absorption of vitamins
A,D,E, K and beta-carotene are common.
Phentermine (Ionamin, Celltech) can
prolong the activity of epinepherine and norepinephrine.
Anaesthetics should be used with caution. A hypertensive
crisis, stroke, or myocardial infarction could result.
Dexfenfluramine and Fenfluramine (Fen-phen)were both
removed from the market in the US in 1997. They were shown
to put patients at risk of regurgitatnt heart murmurs,
even after discontinuing use. Former users should be
referred to physicians for evaluation of potential heart
valve damage. Premedication
may be required.
Enphedra can accelerate and
increase the intensity of respiration. Regrettably the
explosion of over-the counter weight-loss drugs remains
largely unregulated or standardized. Monitor blood
pressure, note nervous behaviors, identify xerostomia and
use caution with local anesthetics, especially those
containing epinephrine. [Stegeman CA, Carroll DK Dental
considerations related to diet pills Contemporary Oral
Hygiene 2004; 4(1):18-22.]
overweight may also contribute to bacterial infection of the
gums that can lead to tooth loss. In a study at Case
Western Reserve University , obese adults between he ages of
18-34 were 76% more likely to have periodontal disease
than similar aged people at a healthy weight. And adults
under 35 with large waistlines, at least 34 inches for
women and 40 inches from men, were about twice as likely to
have gum disease as their slimmer counterparts. While
the study does not prove that obesity causes gum disease, it points
out that excess fat secretes substances called cytokines that
can damage tissues around the teeth. Also heavy
consumption of sugary foods may allow bacteria to thrive in
the mouth, while fiber rich fruits and vegetable may inhibit
(Information from American Dental
Association and Academy of General Dentistry)
For more on food and
nutrition see Nutrition Gov.
Guidelines Nutrition Topics Index Prevention Index