Go to the mirror and open your mouth. Look at your gums. Are they pink and firm? Or red and inflamed? If they’re more red and inflamed than they are pink and healthy, then you might be suffering from gum disease. Healthy gums are the key to good dental hygiene. If your gums are healthy, then it’s easier to keep your teeth healthy as well.
Of course, healthy gums don’t happen by magic. Developing healthy gums takes hard work, regular visits to the dentist and good nutrition. Eating right and maintaining a good diet can help you fight gum disease. Do you want healthy gums? Make sure your diet features these nutritional building blocks.
Vitamin C supports the body’s entire immune system, and that includes protecting your gums and teeth. There are many types of foods that are a good source of vitamin C, including:
- Broccoli – A half cup of cooked broccoli contains about 57% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. For best results, steam your broccoli for about 5 minutes.
- Sweet yellow peppers – Sweet yellow peppers contain over 150% of your daily recommended value. Eat them raw or on pizzas; they’re delicious!
- Chili peppers – Want something spicy in your life? Chili peppers contain about 120% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. Put them in salsa, on Mexican food, or just eat them raw.
Vitamin K helps bone strength. Vitamin K is found in many types of foods, but below are some of the most common:
- Spinach – One cup of raw spinach provides around 120% of your daily value of vitamin K; eat it in a salad or even in a shake.
- Brussels sprouts – Half a cup is almost 90% of your daily value of vitamin K. Saute Brussels sprouts in a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Hard cheese – One ounce of hard cheese is about 20% of your daily value of vitamin K. Sprinkle parmesan over Brussels sprouts for a little extra vitamin K.
Vitamin D improves bone mineral density. Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Salmon – One serving of salmon contains 165% of the daily value. Eat salmon on salads or smoked.
- Canned tuna – Canned tuna contains about half the daily value of vitamin D. Canned tuna can be put in lots of dishes like casseroles, or you can make a tuna salad mixed with celery and mayo. It’s delicious on toast!
- Egg yolks – The amount of vitamin D in egg yolks can vary, depending on the source of the egg. Look for eggs from free-range chickens or chickens fed grain high in vitamin D to maximize the amount of vitamin D in your eggs.
Vitamin A prevents dry mouth and helps your mouth heal quickly. Eating foods rich in vitamin A can be especially helpful if you’re on medications that cause dry mouth, or if you’re going to be undergoing an oral surgery sometime in the near future. Vitamin A comes primarily from animal sources. See below:
- Bluefin tuna – You can get about a quarter of your daily value of vitamin A from a serving of bluefin tuna, which is excellent served on salad or in steak form.
- Cheddar – One serving of cheddar contains about 10% of your daily value of vitamin A. Of course, cheddar can be put on many foods from casseroles to burgers.
- Hard boiled egg – You can get about 8% of your daily value of vitamin A from one large egg. Serve it on salad or eat it plain for breakfast.
Get a Checkup With Your Dentist
Diet plays a big role in your gum and tooth health. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re getting your daily allowance of the right vitamins and minerals. At your next checkup, your dentist can tell you whether your teeth show signs of vitamin deficiency, and can also recommend changes to your diet that can help you improve your oral health overall. At Triangle Dentistry, we can help you develop good eating habits that will contribute to better oral hygiene. To make an appointment, contact us today.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 747-3608.