Gum disease is a serious condition that can result in bone loss as well as tooth loss if it is allowed to progress. For the majority of people, keeping gum disease at bay is as easy as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing their dentist in Arcadia every six months.
Foods that Cause Gum Disease
With that said, we’re all imperfect people, and there are going to be times where we forget to prioritize our oral hygiene. These little lapses don’t always have major consequences, but they do leave the door open for bacteria to infect our gums. Those risks may be even higher if you’ve been eating some of the foods and drinks most commonly associated with gum disease.
Caffeinated drinks including soda, tea, coffee, and your favorite sports drinks all have one thing in common. They dry out your mouth.
When it comes to your mouth’s natural defenses, saliva reigns supreme. Unfortunately, all of these drinks decrease saliva production. The absence of normal saliva levels makes it easy for bacteria to attach to teeth and attack your gums.
Acidic Food and Drink
Acidic drinks like wine, coffee, and many fruit juices actually weaken your enamel temporarily.
It’s really important to not brush immediately after eating or drinking something acidic because your toothbrush may actually do more damage while your enamel is compromised. Instead, you should rinse with water then wait about 20 minutes before brushing.
If you don’t rinse and then brush, you’re giving bacteria better access to your teeth, and you’re more likely to develop tooth decay. Tooth decay is negative enough on its own, but it can also lead to and aggravate gum disease.
Sugary Food and Drink
Candy, sodas, and anything exceptionally sweet is a big problem for your teeth and gums. The bacteria that live on plaque actually feed on sugar and produce an acid as a byproduct. This acid physically weakens your enamel, which makes it easier for bacteria to infiltrate your natural defenses against tooth decay and gum disease.
There are a lot of sticky foods out there. But most of them contain a lot of sugar or a lot of starch. Both are problematic, so you need to be careful when you eat things like taffy or dried fruit.
Both starches and sugars eventually break down into sugar, and all sticky foods have a nasty habit of sticking to the tiny crevices in and between your teeth. It’s really easy for them to become safe havens where bacteria are allowed to thrive out of reach of your saliva.
The ultimate example of a sharp food contributing to gum disease is popcorn. In most circumstances the snack is relatively harmless as long as you brush and floss regularly. However, there are moments when popcorn can become a real problem.
Those tiny, sharp husks can sometimes get wedged between your tooth and your gum line. Not only is it painful, but it can easily turn into an abscess. If this happens to you, then schedule an emergency appointment with Smiles of Arcadia.
Handling Gum Disease
A surprisingly large percentage of Americans have some form of gum disease, and the number increases with age. Fortunately, treatment options are available to help you restore your health and save your teeth. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Red, irritated gums
- Bleeding when you floss
- Gums that seem to have shrunken away from the tooth
- The feeling that one or more teeth are loose
- Pain when you drink cold liquids or chew
Then contact your local dentist to set up an appointment for gum disease treatment in Arcadia.