Ten Best foods for healthier teeth and gums

Half of Americans over 30 years or approximately 64.7 million Americans suffer from periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey  has found that 92% of adults from the ages of 20 – 64 years have dental caries in their permanent teeth.


An infographic provided by the Periodontal (LANAP)  has indicated that there is higher risk for systemic diseases such as stroke and heart diseases in persons suffering from gum disease.


All of this is not good news. Certainly, we can brush our teeth as we should twice a day, floss and rinse with a mouthwash. Throw into the mix visiting the dentist twice a year and we should be good, right? There is one more thing that you will need to do to reduce the risks and make you a survivor, overcomer and certainly a trendsetter for great oral care. That one thing has to do with your diet.


You would not realize it but having a balanced diet really helps improve your chance of not developing gum disease, heart disease or even stroke. Here is a list of 10 foods (used generically) that help to fight against gingivitis and of course periodontist:


Green Tea

Catechins are found in green teas. This ingredient fights inflammation and bacteria in the mouth.  Studies have confirmed the benefits of drinking green tea, even though more studies need to be examined on how beneficial green tea really is.Research also show that the phenols in green tea help to suppress the odor causing genes in bacteria which sometimes result in bad breath.


Nuts and Seeds

These are packed with nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and calcium which are important in strengthening teeth and bones. Of course, of all these, calcium has the greatest nutritional effect by re-mineralization. Brazil nuts, sesame seeds and almonds provide the highest levels of dietary calcium.

Shiitake Mushrooms

These are well known for killing the set of the bacteria which causes a film to be created over the tooth. This is due to a compound in this mushroom called lentinan. Lentinan helps to prevent gingivitis as well as inflammation of the gum.

Low Acid, Fibrous Foods

These foods are often described as dental detergents as they are rich in fiber which scrubs the surface of the tooth. These foods also have a high-water content, so certainly the saliva production is stimulated.

Dairy Foods

Dairy products like cheese decreases the pH in the mouth and by extension neutralizes the acid produced by most bacteria which eats away at the enamel of teeth. Dairy foods rich in calcium help to re-mineralize the teeth by adding minerals back to areas of the teeth which have lost enamel.



American Dental Association encourages persons to drink more water to maintain a healthy mouth. Water especially after snacking and eating a meal helps to wash away food particles and aid in saliva production. Saliva is the most powerful  first line of natural defense against all oral diseases.

Garlic & Onion

Both have microbial properties that neutralizes the most common types of oral bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and Veggies provide a cleansing mechanism through the fibre they contain, to remove dental plaque off teeth.


Raisins are the source of what is called phytochemicals which kill bacteria causing cavities. Additionally, raisins provide antioxidants which is an added nutritional benefit in helping to keep you looking young and supple.

Sugarless Gums

Bacteria rely on sugar to produce plaque. Sugarless gums do not contribute to this activity, while chewing stimulates the production of saliva which washes away plaque causing bacteria in the mouth.

Along With these Do’s, there are a couple of Dont's to ensure that your oral health is in top health:

  • Don’t drink a lot of sweet drinks and sodas.

  • Avoid foods such as oatmeal, caramel, honey, molasses which stick to teeth and are difficult for saliva to wash away.

The more sugars remain on the teeth, the more bacteria can increase, destroying teeth enamel and causing cavities, halitosis, and gingivitis.While all this is good to do, one cannot overlook the need to have healthy oral habits:

Brushing twice daily, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash for two full minutes & Visiting dentist twice a year.

Dr. Kumar T Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, Board Certified Periodontist of  Implants& Gumcare in Carrollton and Grapevine, Texas can provide you the services of dental cleaning. But his services do not stop there as he offers new patients free consultation and free 3D Scan. You will get a comprehensive report of the status of your oral health. Where there is need for follow up, or specialized treatment, you will be informed and advised of the procedure as well as alternatives. You’ll be glad you did.