Can Your Diet Help Prevent Gum Disease?

Effect of High-Fiber on Your Gum Health

Gum disease can totally destroy your smile. It can quickly go from beautiful to ugly in a very short time, but a diet with the right foods can help prevent gum disease. The foods that will make a difference are the ones that are high in fiber.

The Benefit of High Fiber Foods

Gum disease is essentially inflammation that has become out of control. It has become an auto-immune response in which the tissues and bone are attacked along with the harmful bacteria. This harmful bacterium is naturally found in the mouth and it gets into the gums. Normally, healthy gums are tight up against the teeth and this acts as a barrier to keep bacteria out.

Studies have recently revealed that a high fiber diet can help keep inflammation under control. This can be especially valuable if you have inflamed gums, which is often a symptom of early gum disease.

The Fiber Needed

A study that was published in The Journal of Nutrition looked at how much fiber it would take to make a difference. The survey included more than 6,000 people, and then adjusted it for the many factors that will promote gum disease, such as smoking, sex, income level, education, and age.

The results revealed that the people who consumed less than 12 grams of fiber a day had an increased risk of 27 percent of getting moderate to severe periodontal disease. This was compared to those who ate more than 23 grams every day.

When teeth are not kept clean by brushing twice a day and flossing, the bad bacteria will get out of control. Since the bacteria produce acid whenever it consumes sugar, it causes cavities and gum disease by irritating the gums.

The Amount of Fiber Needed

Most people do not get enough fiber to make a difference. The recommended amount is 23 grams per day. Since fiber typically comes from high fiber fruits and vegetables, you will also be adding other various vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-oxidants and more, to give you overall better health.

You increase the benefit of the fiber when you reduce your sugar intake. The harmful bacteria multiply faster when it consumes sugar and it also produces more acid. This can mean more cavities and it will worsen your gum disease if you already have it, or it can help you get it if you do not brush your teeth and floss regularly.

Heart Benefits

Many food products with fiber in them are advertised today as being heart healthy. This is because the fiber reduces inflammation.

The fact that high fiber foods can reduce inflammation is very important for your overall health, too. Once you get gum disease and the harmful bacteria gets into your gums, it has access to the rest of your body through the bloodstream.

Everywhere the bacterium goes in your bloodstream, it will produce an immune response. As this happens, it will produce buildups in your blood vessels and arteries and in your organs. This buildup is now known to cause many serious health problems that include cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, several forms of cancer, and more.

Those Who Get the Most Benefits

In a study of veterans using 600 men, it was discovered that each additional serving of high fiber food was able to reduce tooth loss by as much as 30 percent. It also reduced potential bone loss in the jaw by as much as 24 percent.

The study also found that there was a limited benefit. The greatest benefit was enjoyed by those who were older than 65. The most beneficial foods were found to be bananas, prunes, and apples.

Providing More Protection Against Gum Disease

In addition to high fiber foods, there are some more things you need to do in order to further reduce your risk of gum disease. They include:
  • Brushing and flossing – Keeping the sugar, acid, and bacteria off of your teeth as much as possible will help protect them from the bacteria and acid. Flossing is needed to remove the food particles and sugar from between your teeth.

  • Reduce your sugar intake – Eating or drinking foods with a lot of sugar only increases the likelihood of cavities and gum disease. Drinks such as sodas, specialty coffees, and fruit juices contain as much as nine teaspoons of sugar in a single can.

  • Make regular dental visits – Seeing a dentist on a regular basis helps to spot and treat dental problems and gum disease before it gets serious – and very costly to treat.

If you want to prevent gum disease and are interested in learning about high fiber fruits and diets, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist can help you. He can also provide treatment for periodontal disease and other dental problems. His offices are located in the Carrollton, TX and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental treatment for better dental health, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.