You don’t need a Hillsdale dentist to tell you the danger gum disease represents to your oral health. Most patients of Dr. Beadnell know that gum disease increases the risk of bleeding gums, inflammation, tooth decay and permanent tooth loss. What you might not realize, however, is the risk bleeding gums and gum disease represents to your overall health, as well.
Studies have found links between gum disease and an increased risk of a variety of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, dementia and oral cancer. While researchers don’t currently know what links poor oral health to these types of diseases, one theory suggests that bleeding gums play a pivotal role.
Researchers believe that harmful oral bacteria enters the bloodstream through cracks in the gum line and travels to other areas of the body. As the bacteria travels through the body, it causes inflammation to occur. Inflammation is the root cause of all disease in the body.
If this theory proves correct, preventing the development of gum disease and bleeding gums becomes paramount to lowering your risk of disease that can impact your overall health. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prevent bleeding gums and gum disease in addition to regularly brushing, flossing and scheduling checkups and exams with your Hillsdale dentist, Dr. Beadnell. A change in diet can also improve gum health.
Here are a few items you should add to your daily diet in order to lower your risk of gum disease and bleeding gums.
Just as it strengthens your bones, drinking milk can actually help to strengthen your gums as well. Oral bacteria causes inflammation to your gums that result in the cracks that allow them to bleed. Drinking more calcium makes your gums stronger so they are better able to withstand the effect of oral bacteria that causes gum disease. While the amount of milk you need to consume depends on age, healthy adults should drink two glasses of milk a day while senior adults and kids should drink three to four.
You probably know that adding more vegetables to your diet offers a variety of healthy benefits. What you might not know, however, is that chewing on raw veggies actually improves blood circulation in the gums, thereby reducing the risk of bleeding gums.
Cucumber helps the body maintain the acid balance in the mouth so that when injury does occur to your gums the body can better heal the damage. Adding a couple of slices of cucumber to your salad or as a side to dinner or lunch is a great way to make your gums healthier.
While cucumbers help to repair the damage done to your gums, eating cranberries helps to stop gums from bleeding. The tart berry has antibacterial properties that can clean the gum of excess bacteria. You don’t need to eat cranberries to enjoy this benefit, as a glass of cranberry juice in the morning will have just as beneficial an effect.
If your body suffers from vitamin A deficiency, you have a higher risk of suffering the effects of bleeding gums. Apricots offer a great source of beta-carotene, which helps the body produce more vitamin A. Adding apricots to salads and cereals can be a great way to increase your vitamin A levels. If you don’t care for apricots, carrots and spinach also rank as good sources of beta-carotene.