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Decrease Inflammation by Eating Right

By Jill Feilmeier on March 21, 2013 in Dental Health

Dad and sons looking at veggitables

More than three out of four adults over age 35 have periodontal (gum) disease, a condition that can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease involves the inflammation and infection of the supporting soft and hard tissue surrounding teeth. Are your gums inflamed?

Symptoms include:

  • Gingivitis – If your gums are red, swollen, tender and bleeding this may be a sign of gingivitis. You can get your gums back in-shape with daily flossing and brushing.
  • If the symptoms continue, you may have advanced to periodontitis, which is characterized by the loss of tissue attachment to the teeth and bone loss. A tooth will lose its supporting structure, become loose and fall out.

Your risk for gum disease could increase if you don't brush and floss regularly, or if you don't see a dentist for professional cleanings. People who smoke, have uncontrolled diabetes or other diseases, or have untreated dental problems are also at high risk for gum disease.

The good news is you have the control! Even changing your diet can help ease the pain of inflammation.

Change your Diet Improving your diet can help prevent inflammation in your gums. Here are some tips:

  • Eat a balanced diet, especially foods rich in vitamin C, B12, folic acid and calcium. This will help strengthen your gums and bones.
  • Limit the frequency of eating foods loaded with refined sugar (sucrose).
  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking water, especially after eating, can help wash food off your teeth and make it less likely that bacteria will form gum-damaging plaque.
  • Don't consume extremely hot or cold food or drinks. If you experience gum problems, you may find it easier to have lukewarm or cooler foods and drinks.

Learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it.