When we look at the smile, what we tend to notice above all else is the condition of the teeth. Are they white and radiant? Are they straight and unmarred by chips and cracks? These are the characteristics that we tend to observe. The gums, though, that soft tissue around your teeth is the unsung hero of your mouth. Without gum tissue, the teeth wouldn’t be so secure. Neither would underlying bone tissue. You see, your gums are protective against oral bacteria. This is why you want to support gum health at every turn. Sometimes, every turn is on your plate.
Foods that Support Gum Health
- Leafy greens. Those salad bowls filled with kale and arugula and spinach aren’t just good for your waistline, they’re good for your mouth. Leafy greens are chalk-full of vitamin C and other phytonutrients that reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, leafy green vegetables encourage the production of healthy red blood cells. When you chew the extra fiber in leafy greens, your saliva glands work overtime, further inhibiting the accumulation of bacteria.
- Onions may have a bad reputation for bringing tears to the eyes, but this food item also has strong antimicrobial properties. That means the onion on your salad can neutralize the action of oral bacteria in your mouth.
- Crunch it up! Fresh fruits and vegetables that have a nice crunch to them used to be such a treat when we were children. In our formidable years, we loved the messiness and noisiness of apples, celery, and carrots. These vegetables, as well as cauliflower and broccoli, are also very cleansing due to their mild abrasiveness to enamel. Want a fun way to clean and polish your teeth after lunch? Chomp on an apple!
- Shitake mushrooms. If you already love mushrooms simply for their flavor, you’ll be happy to know that these friendly little fungi contain lentinan, a compound with antibacterial properties that inhibits the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth.
- Green Tea. A cup of green tea every day is good for your mouth and your body thanks to catechins, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation.
There are several factors that affect the overall health of your teeth and gums. In addition to eating for oral health, schedule a visit with your dentist. We’d love to see your smile in our Palm Beach Gardens office. Call 561-627-9000 to schedule your visit.