Poor health in one area can affect the health of other organs. One specific aspect of health that affects the entire body is diet and nutrition. Your organs cannot receive the appropriate sustenance without the proper food and nutrients. One specific organ that is significantly affected by diet and nutrition is the mouth.
While it may seem that the mouth is only used to take in food, it also has a special relationship with what you eat: your diet affects the oral tissues' health, and the mouth affects the nutrients you consume.
For years, doctors and dentists have understood that poor nutrition and diet are correlated to poor oral health. It is not just sweets that can damage your teeth; other foods can also accelerate the onset of other dental issues.
Foods cannot only negatively affect your oral health; some may even bolster it. Some foods help your mouth maintain the proper levels of microbes. To improve oral health, you must maintain a balanced diet high in macro- and micronutrients. A good balance of these will benefit your enamel and oral mucosa.
Poor diet and nutrition can encourage oral conditions to develop. Here are some that originate from poor nutrition:
Dental erosion results from abrasive forces and foods acting on your teeth. A common cause of dental erosion is hard foods and nonbacterial acids that eat away at the enamel. Continuous decline of the enamel leads to the development of cavities and exposure of the pulp in the teeth. Common sources of acids that lead to dental decay are soft drinks, fruits, dry wine, and vinegar.
Dental caries is the demineralization of the enamel and dentin and is usually irreversible. It is often a result of organic acids in dental plaque. The acids are the by-product of the anaerobic metabolism of sugars from food. Usually, dietary sugars are the primary source of this process, and these conditions are more common in developed countries. Eating foods high in calcium will often counteract cariogenic foods.
More often known as gum disease, periodontal disease is associated with poor oral hygiene. However, poor nutrition is also a probable cause of the condition. The disease affects the supporting structures of your teeth, eating away at the roots.
It leads to bone loss and poor gum health. It can occur when you lack sufficient nutrients to sustain the supporting structures of your teeth. Malnutrition is also a common cause of issues with oral mucosa.
Oral cancer is often associated with the environment and genetics. However, research also shows that some food can encourage the development of the condition while some can protect against it.
Many green vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, and cruciferous vegetables help protect against the disease. Foods like meat may induce oxidative damage, increasing the chances of developing the condition. You can counter this by including antioxidants in your diet.
For more on the connection between nutrition and oral health, visit the Pediatric Dental Group at our office in Lihue or Honolulu, Hawaii. Call (808) 245-2131 or (808) 593-8828 to book an appointment today.