Dental Health: Nutrition

A balanced diet is healthy for a person’s overall well being as well as their individual dental health. Maintaining the teeth in a state of excellent condition will allow a patient to properly chew their foods and break them down for the initial phase of digestion. The loss of teeth or teeth which are in an ill state of repair cause patients to swallow their foods whole and or change their diets to include foods which have much lower nutritional benefits. Reflux and digestive issues can become a problem when this is done over a long period of time.

How often and what you eat can affect your dental health. Starchy foods including bread, cookies, candies, and snack crackers all have been shown to provide an increase in the activity of the bacteria that cause tooth decay. The bacteria use these foods in order to produce acids which destroy the enamel of the teeth creating holes or cavities. Sticky and sour foods also can cause this destructive pattern on the teeth.

How often and what you drink can also lead to excessive tooth destruction. Sip all day and get decay is a slogan of the Minnesota Dental Association, and it alludes to the fact that use of sports drinks, soda pop, and energy drinks also has been shown to have a dramatic effect of increasing tooth decay. These drinks are often times loaded with sugar and give the bacteria in your mouth a fuel source to lower the pH level increasing how acidic your oral environment is. Also the drinks themselves are very acidic in nature. The body’s natural defense to the increase in acid in the mouth is for the saliva to slowly regulate the environment back to a more normal level. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the body to counteract the acidic attack of ingesting some of the listed drinks. When people are constantly making their mouths more acidic the teeth can not resist the bacterial and acidic breakdown and eventually the enamel fails to protect the tooth.

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