Nutrition for Healthy Gums and Teeth


Tooth loss is common among new Zealanders. The two main reasons for this are tooth decay and periodontal disease (Gum Disease). Dental services can be both unpleasant and costly. Tooth loss can affect your general health, your quality of life{Brennan, 2008 #1463}, and your looks so it is important to do all you can to keep your gums and teeth healthy and strong.

You may well have heard that calcium helps keep teeth strong; and that sugar causes decay in your teeth. But did you know how much more your diet and lifestyle affect your teeth?

Studies show that not only sugary food but also refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice) can cause gum disease. Diseased gums will not be able to hold the teeth so eventually the teeth fall out. Also teeth will decay when you have the sugars this includes confectionary, honey and syrups. Studies have shown biscuits, cakes, and sugared breakfast cereals to be particularly damaging to the teeth. Drinks can also be dangerous to the health of your teeth, it may be little surprise to hear research demonstrates sugared soft drinks, cause decay but did you know wine and fruit juice are also destructive drinks?

On a positive note you can change your diet to keep your smile. Studies show that wholegrains, fresh fruit, vegetables as well as live (bio) plain yoghurt, cheese and milk can help your gums and teeth keep strong and beautiful.

Discoveries have been made that show what a huge significance particular nutrients have on the health of our teeth and gums. Minerals including calcium selenium, magnesium and potassium  have been shown to be important for teeth and gums. Also necessary are vitamin D vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.  These can be found in the foods listed above, and if you add plenty of fish you will get the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids also shown to be needed. If supplements are used I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State supplements for the best absorption and bioavailability, and effective low doses.

You also need to stop smoking to avoid dental problems, studies show that any kind of smoking; including smoking cannabis causes serious gum disease. As soon as you stop completely your gums will start to regain health. Making these changes to your diet and lifestyle will also help you feel better and have a whole lot more to smile about.


Original Article July 2010

Copyright Jaine Kirtley