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A Diet’s Role in Periodontal Disease

Your diet plays a role in your overall health. You may already know an unhealthy diet can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, among other issues. However, your diet may also contribute to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.

Sugar and Periodontal Disease

Your mouth consists of both beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria. When you consume sugar, you’re feeding the bad flora. Ultimately, this leads to you having more bad bacteria than good. The bad bacteria is the type that’s responsible for causing gingivitis and periodontal disease. Unfortunately, gingivitis can quickly turn to gum disease without treatment. This is especially true if you continue to eat sugary foods and drink beverages sweetened with sugar.

Liquid and non-liquid types of sugar affect your teeth differently. The liquid forms, such as those in juices and sodas, penetrate the cracks and crevices of your teeth and mouth. While brushing takes some of the sugar away, some still remains in hard-to-reach places. Once you have bacteria underneath your gum line, it irritates your gums and leads to gingivitis and gum disease.

With non-liquid forms of sugar, residue may remain on your teeth. Ultimately, this sugar can lead to gum disease as it feeds bacteria. Processed forms of sugar are especially a concern since they consist of high concentrations of sugar.

Antioxidants and Periodontal Disease

Certain foods you eat consists of antioxidants like vitamin C, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and lycopene. Antioxidants are substances that reduce the amount of oxidative damage within your body. This damage occurs naturally in everyone and happens because oxidants are unstable molecules. They rob electrons from other molecules. Antioxidants however, are known for reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease, but they also play a vital role in gum disease prevention.

Whenever you have a high level of reactive oxygen species in your body, they contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases. These reactive oxygen species damage your tissue and cells, including your gums. To reduce the inflammation, you must consume an adequate amount of antioxidants to combat the damage.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to strengthen your gums and other soft tissue in your mouth. It acts as an antioxidant, so it assists in the prevention of gum disease. Ultimately, this means that this vitamin can help prevent your teeth from becoming loose. Citrus fruits are one food that contains high amounts of this vitamin, but you have to regulate how much you eat because the acid has the potential to damage your teeth. Fortunately, leafy greens and potatoes also contain this vitamin. If you don’t have an adequate amount of vitamin C in your system, it can lead to oral health problems and increase your risk of gum disease.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is another vitamin that acts as an antioxidant. It also helps to prevent dry mouth. Keep in mind, dry mouth can contribute to gum disease and slow the healing time of your gums. Some examples of foods with vitamin A include egg yolks, fish, and liver as well as spinach, oranges, and cantaloupe.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also a vitamin that helps boost your immune system. When you have a strong immune system, it can combat the bacteria that cause gum disease more effectively.

Vitamin E

Additionally, you need enough vitamin E in your diet to prevent gum disease. As mentioned above, vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that protects your gum tissue from oxidative damage. It also has the potential to strengthen your gum tissue and reduce the amount of tissue degradation from gum disease.


Calcium has been revered for its benefit on the strength of your teeth. It can also have a positive impact when you undergo non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease. This is noted by the National Institutes of Health.


Fluoride is another mineral that dentists highly recommend for tooth and gum health. If you don’t receive enough, you’re more likely to develop cavities because your enamel can’t undergo the remineralization process. Unfortunately, if you have cavities, the bacteria will produce waste that irritates your gums. Eventually, this can cause gum disease.

The way you eat can impact your oral health. Certain minerals and vitamins are necessary for prevention while sugars will feed the bacteria that cause gum disease.

Contact Us for Additional Information in Vero Beach, FL

If you want more information about having a better diet for your oral health, it’s time to visit the dentist in Vero Beach, FL. Contact Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics at (772) 569-9700 to schedule an appointment.