As much as it is important to have a clean and strong set of teeth, it is also important to take care of your gums or the soft tissue linings of the mouth. Gums play a protective role as they line and seal the teeth and the underlying bone structure that holds the teeth together.
Naturally, gums are sensitive therefore, proper care and nutrition should be employed to keep them healthy. Before jumping into the best foods to eat to boost gum health, it is first important to ask the question: What causes unhealthy gums?
The answer to that question is the following:
- Bacterial Plaque
Bacterial plaque is the major cause of gum disease. Plaques are made up of bacteria and food debris that are not properly removed during regular brushing and have accumulated at the bottom of the teeth surface.
- Calculus or tartar
When plaque is not removed and start to build-up, these can develop into calculus, or more commonly known as tartar. These can start to develop in about 24-48 hours and can create a rough surface that can trap more and more bacteria and food debris over time.
How can bacteria build-up cause unhealthy gums?
The bacterial build-up like plaque and calculus or tartar cause gum infection and diseases by releasing toxins into the gums that causes irritation, swelling, and redness. With gum infection, the gums can become inflamed where the immune cells flock to the bacteria-ridden area in the gums and oral tissues in an attempt to battle the toxins released by the bacteria build-up.
How can I boost my over-all gum health?
- Good oral hygiene
Having good oral hygiene means practising proper brushing, flossing, and cleaning of the teeth, tongue, gums to keep the mouth clean and free of infections and diseases.
- Proper nutrition
In addition to good oral hygiene, it is also vital that you eat certain foods that may help you have strong and healthy gums.
Every day, a lot of Singaporeans deal with gum inflammation, infection, and diseases. So, who can you ask for better advice to improve gum health than from a top gum specialist in Singapore?
Luckily, Dr Marlene Teo, one of the top gum specialists in Singapore has prepared a list of foods for healthier gums so you can show off your smile with full confidence. Dr Marlene Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore and was the sixth graduate to receive the BDS Honours. She obtained her Masters in Periodontology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Throughout her practice, she has earned numerous awards and training making her one of the top gum specialists in Singapore today.
So, to help you boost your over-all gum health and prevent periodontal diseases, here’s a list of recommended food for healthier gums by Dr Marlene Teo:
- Vitamin C
The high amount of vitamin C found in oranges, berries, and other citrus fruits can also help in protecting the gums from infections. Studies have shown that low intake of vitamin C is linked to a higher risk of periodontal disease.
Apples contain malic acid that boosts saliva production and removes bacteria from the mouth. Apples are a great source of fibre, and this fibrous texture of apples helps in improving the health of your gums by acting as an effective cleansing agent.
Chewing on dried cranberries regularly releases their gum-protecting properties and gives gums a gentle cleanse. In addition, cranberry juice has been shown to be effective in fending off receding gums and oral infections as it is also rich in vitamin C. Make it a habit to drink four ounces of cranberry juice per day to help prevent bacteria from accumulating and hardening into the teeth surface.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds have a slightly abrasive texture that helps in removing bacterial build-up as well as stains from the surface of the teeth. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts and flax seeds can also help in lowering the risk of gum disease.
- Green Tea
Known for its age-defying agents, scientists have also found out that green tea helps promote healthy teeth and gums. One study showed that drinking at least one cup of green tea every day improved gum attachment and prevent gum recession. In short, the more cups of green tea one consumes, the better the improvement in gum health.
- Green Leafy Vegetables
One can never go wrong with green leafy vegetables as their effects on health always bring benefits to the body. In the same light, fiber-packed leafy vegetables are good for both healthy teeth and gums. Also, the extra saliva produced by constant chewing of high fiber food neutralizes bacteria and keeps your mouth clear of the bad bacteria.
It is a universal fact that calcium in milk protects and fortifies the teeth. In addition, the protein casein that is found in milk and dairy products helps reduce the level of acid in the mouth and prevents gum infections.
Thyme has been known to have strong antibacterial properties. When added to a daily diet or made into tea, thyme can be a natural remedy to treat gum diseases.
- Chamomile Tea
The chamomile flower great antiseptic properties and helps to reduce the inflammation that comes with gum disease and receding gums. Simply sip on chamomile tea every day to help boost gum health.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has immense anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains salicylic acids, the base ingredient used for the treatment of general inflammation. Hence, it is a beneficial treatment for gingivitis, an inflammatory condition of the gums.
As a top gum specialist in Singapore, Dr Marlene Teo believes that it is part of her duty to let patients of all ages understand the different foods that can help make gums be on top condition and free of diseases. Start eating the recommended foods listed above and see for yourself how your gums become healthier and your smile more beautiful and confident.
Dr Marlene Teo
360 Orchard Rd, #03-06/07 next to Lido,
International Building, Singapore 238869
+65 8588 9868