Dieting May Help Reduce Gum Disease, Tooth Problems

dentistGum disease and inflammation around the teeth and gums can trigger a number of health problems, and lead to tooth decay and yellowing teeth.

Practicing good dental hygiene can help reduce the risk of developing gum disease, but some researchers say that what and how much you eat may also play an important role in maintaining that healthy smile.

Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore recently published their findings in the journal nutrition, claiming that there is a critical link between inflammation of the gums and poor health. According to Mark Reynolds, DDS, PhD, associate professor at the Dental School, part of UMB:

"Chronic inflammation appears to be an important factor underlying aging and many age-related disorders, and dietary restriction has been shown to reduce the risk for chronic disease and promote longevity in multiple animal models." (Source: Medical News Today)

A reduced-calorie diet could help reduce the impact of invading bacteria in the mouth, and thereby reduce the risk of inflammation.  Oral disease is commonly the result of poor dental hygiene and the food we eat does play a role in the health of the gum tissues and color of the teeth. Excess sugars, fats and oils in the diet may trigger the inflammatory response in those with weak gum tissues, and poor nutrition habits overall can make it difficult for the body to heal and repair itself.

Dr. Reynolds explains that obesity has been linked to increased signs of overall inflammation, which means that individuals who are overweight or obese are much more likely to develop diseases of the joints, muscles and tendons; the gums are another high-risk area for those who eat an unhealthy diet. Periodontal disease may be linked to poor nutrition, according to this study, which means that eating a low-calorie but well-balanced diet may offer benefits beyond healthy weight maintenance.

Further Reading

  • If chocolate is the forbidden fruit of your diet, it may be time to reintroduce this tasty treat to your weekly menu. A recent study reported in the American Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that women who eat at least two chocolate bars every week have a 20 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who don’t eat any chocolate at all.

  • Dr. Nick Mohindra, a London dentist, has invented a plastic mouthguard called the Oralift that’s designed to help patients look younger by sculpting the facial tissues and increasing the strength of the jawline and facial muscles. The Oralift mouthguard is placed in a microwave to soften the plastic and then fitted to the lower teeth. The mouthguard helps to prevent the grinding of teeth and also helps to stretch the freeway space between the back teeth so that the facial muscles become stronger.

  • Until now, correcting receding gums involved a relatively painful procedure that may have included some type of laser surgery in the mouth. An three-year study at Tufts University now reveals that receding gums can be treated with a specialized gum grafting technique that involves very little pain, and minimal downtime.