Most people know that brushing and flossing, and regular dental appointments are key to fighting gum disease. But did you know that certain foods can help fight it?
Whether you already have gum disease or you want to take extra action to prevent it, the following foods can aid in the fight against the number one cause of tooth loss.
If you love chocolate, you’re in luck. Cacao is similar to cocoa (the key ingredient to baking), but it’s processed differently. For instance, cocoa comes from roasted cacao beans while cacao is not roasted. Without high heat processing, it doesn’t lose all of its nutritional benefits like containing 300+ compounds.
Cacao contains catechins, which are disease-fighting compounds that can help stop gum disease. It also helps fight plaque, tooth decay, and cavities because it contains a compound known as CBH which hardens the enamel. Cacao is also healthier to eat than a chocolate bar because it doesn’t contain sugar! Cacao is often consumed in dry fermented nibs or as a powder.
Sweet potatoes are great for fighting gum disease because they are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and Manganese. They also contain beta carotene which is an essential nutrient that fights gum disease because it reduces inflammation and provides elements essential to creating vitamin A. As a bonus, sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate which is a type of carbohydrate that will keep you feeling fuller longer.
Here is your excuse to load up on fajitas and omelets—red and green bell peppers are helpful for fighting gum disease. For one, they are incredibly high in vitamin C and will boost your immune system to fight infection. Bell peppers contain 300% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Broccoli is another type of food filled with vitamin C which helps fight gum disease. It also contains vitamin B1, magnesium, niacin, calcium, iron, and selenium which are all beneficial for fighting gum disease. In addition, eating raw broccoli can help remove plaque from your teeth.
Another type of food that can help fight periodontal disease is shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan which is a polysaccharide that attacks bacteria that causes gum disease. Shiitake mushrooms are also powerful anti-inflammatory foods that have tons of studies that show how much they can reduce inflammation.
One of the key nutrients for fighting gum disease is catechins and green tea just so happens to be high in them. Green tea can also reduce the risk of gum disease. One study examined 940 men and found that those who consumed green tea regularly were less likely to develop gum disease. With that said, including green tea in your daily diet isn’t a bad way to help prevent gum disease.
Foods that contain probiotics such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir help maintain good bacteria in your mouth to help reduce plaque buildup and reduce gingivitis. Fermented foods can also suppress oral pathogen growth.
In a study, it was found that those who fermented dairy experienced extra protection against gum disease more than those who didn’t. Although, it wasn’t clear whether this extra protection was due to the probiotics or the increase in calcium.
Since we no longer consume food like we once did, our diets no longer get as much collagen as they once did. Collagen helps promote healing from receding gums which is one of the side effects of gum disease. One great source of collagen is bone broth. Simply swap out your traditional broth for bone broth and experience the benefits of additional collagen in your diet. Bone broth is made from boiling animal connective tissue and bones and can be used in soups, sauces, gravies, or even drank on its own.
Just like bone broth, the chicken will also give you a great source of collagen as well as CoQ10 which is an antioxidant that also helps fight gum disease. It’s also important to not skip eating the skin of the chicken. The skin contains a high amount of collagen despite being high in fat.
Grass-fed beef is another major source of collagen. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which can also help treat gum disease. However, it’s important to not supplement grass-fed beef with grain-fed beef because it’s packed with antibiotics, omega-6s, and other compounds that contribute to inflammation and disease.
You can also get a lot of omega-3s in your diet by eating more salmon or fatty fish such as mackerel or herring. The oil content helps reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
The last type of food you should eat to help fight gum disease are nuts and seeds high in omega-3s. These include pistachios, macadamia nuts, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and hazelnuts. Grab a handful of nuts as a snack every day and enjoy all the benefits of eating more omega-3s in your diet.
If you are suffering from gum disease, please don’t try to treat it by changing up your diet. Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD can treat your gum disease at our Beverly Hills office and help you create a preventive plan to prevent gum disease from occurring again. If you’re in need of gum disease treatment in Beverly Hills, please book an appointment by calling (310) 275-5325 today.