7 Foods Gum Disease Sufferers Should Try to Replace

Foods that are bad for gum disease

Foods That Can Contribute to Gum Disease

When it comes to oral health, you likely know the basic rules: brush and floss daily. However, when you have periodontitis, you may not know what you can do to help manage the condition.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is an infection of the gum and bone surrounding the teeth. It typically starts as gingivitis, which primarily affects the gums. But without treatment, it can evolve into a severe medical condition. Eventually, it can erode the bone below the teeth, making them loose and causing them to fall out.    

Routine visits with your dentist and proper oral hygiene will help prevent the development of this disease. But if you’ve already been diagnosed, it may be helpful to change your diet. There are several foods that can exacerbate gum disease, and eliminating them may help improve your condition.  

Most people know limiting sweets can help to prevent tooth decay. But what do you do about gum disease? Here are 7 foods to limit or avoid if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis. 

1. Too Much Bread 

Starchy foods made from white flour can be considered bad for gum health. In fact, crackers, bread, and chips can be just as unhealthy as candy! The starches in these foods come from simple carbohydrates that linger in the mouth and become simple sugars. Bacteria thrive on this kind of sugar and produce cavity-causing acids as a result. 

For patients with gum disease, those same acids can creep below the gumline unchecked and cause even more damage to the supporting tissues.

2. Oranges

Acidic foods like oranges and lemons create the perfect environment for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms to thrive. They have high amounts of natural fruit sugar that can damage your teeth and gums. Still, citrus fruits are popular because they contain high levels of vitamin C, but there are other ways of getting this vital nutrient. 

You can take supplements or fill your plate with vegetables high in vitamin C. For example, broccoli and asparagus contain vitamin C but are lower in acid. Some low-acid fruits, like kiwis and cantaloupe, are also high in vitamin C.    

3. Sports Drinks 

Many sports drinks have high acid and sugar levels, increasing your risk of cavities and enamel damage. In fact, some sports drinks are so acidic that they eat through the enamel to the second layer of tooth structure, dentin. As a result, stains, cavities, and tooth sensitivity can quickly form.     

On top of the significant acid levels, sports drinks have a lot of sugar, which feeds harmful oral bacteria and helps them multiply. This coupled with the acid already present makes your teeth more susceptible to decay.  

4. Tomatoes 

Much like sugary foods do not contribute to healthy gums, those high in acid are also ones to watch out for. So even though they contain the antioxidant lycopene, a vitamin linked to reducing stroke risk, tomatoes are still highly acidic.  

Highly acidic foods like tomatoes promote acid erosion and irritate the gums. If you love tomatoes and don’t want to cut them out of your diet completely, you can lessen its effects by pairing it with acid-neutralizing foods, like chicken or mozzarella cheese.  

5. Ice Cream     

There’s no denying that ice cream is delicious. However, it’s full of added sugars that are bad news for your gums. Like most other sweet treats, the sugars cause plaque that binds to the teeth and gums. The more plaque that’s present, the more acid that plaque produces and the more irritated the gum tissue becomes. 

Furthermore, ice cream’s freezing temperature can cause further issues your gums in places they’ve already started wearing away. This leaves your teeth roots vulnerable to hot and cold sensations. 

You don’t need to eliminate ice cream and other sweets altogether, but you should keep them to a minimum. When you eat sweets, brush your teeth about 30 minutes after finishing your treat to neutralize the acids.    

6. Popcorn 

Popcorn gets mixed reviews regarding foods that are bad for gum disease. The popped kernels can scrub away plaque buildup but can be hard on your gums. This is especially true if you get a husk stuck between your tooth and gum tissue. 

After eating popcorn, it’s essential to rinse and floss well. It’s best to stick with lightly buttered or plain popcorn and avoid caramel or other sugar-covered varieties.  

7. Coffee 

Coffee is delicious, but it also contributes to the acid in your oral cavity that causes your enamel to break down, causing stain and brittleness. Coffee can also dry out your mouth and slow saliva production that normally would help fight early signs of decay and gum disease. 

Caring for Your Gums With Luminous Smiles 

While limiting these foods can allow you to enjoy your favorite treats while reducing inflammation, other factors contribute to your oral health. Keeping up with your hygiene routine, including regular visits with your dentist, will help you maintain control of your gums. Luminous Smiles provides exceptional personalized care in Newport Beach, California, to help you achieve your healthiest, most beautiful smile. Contact Luminous Smiles today to schedule your appointment.