The link between diet and dental health

How what you eat can significantly affect your teeth and gums

Although there appears to be a growing awareness of the link between our diet and our health, this acknowledgement does not seem to have extended to the same care and attention being given to the link between diet and our oral health. Most of us are, of course, aware of the link between sugar and dental decay; this was probably drilled into us as children, but there are other factors which can affect our dental health of which we may be less aware.

Dentists such as those at the Darren Bywater dental implant centre in Derby, are also advising their patients of the potential damage to their teeth caused by acidic foods. Many of these are what we know as 'healthy foods' such as citric fruits. The balance may be difficult though as these fruits are also an excellent source of vitamin C which is essential for good health. The acid though will attack the enamel on our teeth causing sensitivity and a higher risk of decay later on.

Most of us know of people, or perhaps are one ourselves, who refuse sugar in their tea but then eat processed foods, many of which contain hidden sugars. Although most of us probably resort to these processed foods from time to time for speed or convenience, avoiding them as much as possible and replacing them with a diet high in grains and vegetables as well as some fruit will be of benefit to our oral as well as our overall health. Of course, we are only human and from time to time, a craving for chocolate may arise and provided that these are 'treats' rather than a part of our regular diet, this shouldn't cause a major problem provided that we keep our teeth clean and brush them regularly.

The choice is our of course whether we follow these guidelines or not but failure to do so could lead to a number of dental problems. the first of these that is likely to show is gum disease as sugar provides an excellent source of food for the bacteria that attack our teeth and gums so supplying them with extra sugar is a sure way to bring on the onset of gum disease. Thankfully, this can be treated if caught early, but others such as decay may well lead to at least a filling and possibly an extraction and the placing of a dental implant to replace it.

So, the next time you reach for that chocolate bar, take a deep breath and think about the consequences for your teeth and your general health.