Nutrition and Dental Health
There is no question that good nutrition is incredibly beneficial and necessary to maintaining a healthy smile. Conversely, poor nutrition can be catastrophic to your level of oral health. At Prosthodontics of Princeton we are here to help, and provide you with all of the necessary information you might need.
Sugar and Its Impact on Your Mouth
It’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth. However, why is it bad? The answer is a little more complex. Sugar produces acids. Acid demineralizes and eventually dissolves the shiny protective enamel on your teeth causing cavities to develop and infection to spread to deeper tissues. This can be extremely painful and possibly result in tooth loss.
You should also understand that the bacteria from plaque feeds on sugar. If plaque is left on teeth and hardens or calcifies, it becomes tartar or calculus. This occurs in 2 or 3 days.Tartar requires a professional cleaning to be removed. The build-up of plaque and development of tarter can lead to cavities and periodontal disease.
Foods That Cause Dental Erosion
In addition to monitoring your sugar intake, you should also be aware of how acidic your diet is. A highly acidic diet can erode enamel, making your teeth and gums vulnerable to infection. Here are a few foods that are either highly acidic or produce acid.
Having a highly acidic diet can raise the pH levels of the micro-ecosystem of your mouth to dangerous levels. Of course, we are not trying to tell you to stop consuming acidic foods. In fact, alkaline foods can be just as dangerous. Low pH levels tend to make you more prone to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Instead, we recommend you attempt to balance your pH levels. A good rule of thumb is to consume 70% alkaline and 30% acidic.
To put it into perspective, a diet that is low in sugar but high in fruits, whole grains and vegetables will promote healthy pH levels. A healthy pH level facilitates a positive equilibrium between bad and good bacteria in the mouth.
How to Improve Alkalinity
Improving the alkalinity of your body isn’t just good for your mouth, but your whole body. Optimal cell and tissue function require a close to as possible neutral pH. Your ideal pH level should be between 7.5 and 8.5. Here are a few tips on how to achieve that.
Saliva and Remineralization
Given what you now know about acidity, pH levels, and sugar, you may be wondering how your teeth have survived. You might be surprised to discover that your saliva, which contains calcium and phosphate ions, is constantly working to remineralize and repair your teeth. Saliva remineralization works at optimum capacity when the mouth’s pH level is close to neutral. If plaque pH drops below 5.5 demineralization begins to occur.
Here are a few naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that can help your saliva remineralize your teeth and keep your mouth healthy.
A balanced diet and brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is only the first step in your journey to maintaining a healthy smile. Regularly scheduled dentist appointments are necessary to keep your mouth clean and happy. Call us today at (609) 924-1975 to schedule your appointment!