Your health is directly impacted by your dietary choices. Whether you are concerned about your weight, diabetes, cholesterol, or other health conditions, watching your diet is often a necessity. There is another aspect of your health that is often overlooked, yet it is also directly impacted by your diet – it is your oral health. Understanding how the foods and beverages that you choose to consume affect the health of your entire mouth is incredibly important in making sure that your permanent teeth last you permanently.
On any given day, there are millions of bacteria living within your mouth. While that sounds disgusting and a bit scary, these bacteria are present in order to help you out. After you eat and drink, there are tiny particles left behind in the mouth. The oral bacteria want to help you out by breaking down these particles and getting rid of them. However, their helpfulness quickly turns into harmfulness because of how they go about their work.
As the bacteria work to break down the tiny particles left behind after a meal or a snack, they begin to produce acids in order to assist them. It is these acids which are responsible for cavities, decay, and gum disease. All acids, including the acids produced inside the mouth, will eat through anything that in in their path. In your mouth, this means that once they have eaten away through the food and drink particles, they will continue to eat their way through your tooth enamel and gum tissues.
The most important thing to understand about oral bacteria is that they are most attracted to the sugars in the foods and beverages that you consume. When the tiny particles left behind are high in sugar content, the bacteria will congregate in much higher quantities around these particles and will create a much higher quantity of acids. Limiting your consumption of sugary foods and beverages will limit the amount of acids that are produced inside your mouth. Do not be falsely encouraged by consuming Diet drinks or snacks – bacteria cannot differentiate between sugar and artificial sweeteners!
Creating a healthy diet plan that limits the amount of sugar you consume is a great way to promote optimal oral health. At Peninsula Dentistry, we are here to help you achieve and maintain the highest level of oral health. Call today to learn more!