The Mouth and Body Work Together
If you are looking for a dental professional that understands the interconnectedness of the mouth and body, look no further. Dr. Supriya K Shetty, a biological dentist, has extensive training in the way the mouth and body work together. Not only that, Dr. Shetty approaches all dental procedures in a way that is minimally invasive, holistic and with the patient’s best health in mind. While there are many ways in which the mouth and body work together, there is none more fundamental than the foods we eat. How can we make sure we are choosing the right foods to keep our teeth and gums healthy?
It Not Just Sugar
Many dentists will tell you to avoid sugar to keep your teeth cavity-free. But, that’s not the whole story. There are many foods that can cause damage and many that have the potential to keep your mouth healthy. At a basic level, everything you put in your mouth effects the environment and thus the way oral bacteria behave.
Bacteria and Biofilm Basics
Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. In fact, there is a complex layer of bacteria called a biofilm on everyone’s teeth. This complex network of bacteria is influenced by what you eat and drink. The bacteria that cause damage to the teeth feed on starchy, sugary foods and drinks. When they feed, they create acid waste which will eventually cause tooth decay. Also, whenever we eat or drink anything the pH in our mouth drops. When it drops below 5.5 the bad, acid producing bacteria thrive, and the good bacteria die off. So, it’s both the frequency of eating and drinking as well as what we eat and drink that impacts the way the bacteria behave. When the majority of the biofilm is unhealthy, you are at high risk for decay and infection. If the bacteria build up below the gumline and the gums become inflamed and infected you are at risk for periodontal disease, not just tooth decay.
What to Eat and Drink for Healthy Teeth and Gums
It is important to be aware of the frequency and type of foods you eat to keep your mouth healthy. First, it is best to limit the number of times you drink beverages other than tap water and eat during the day. Try to stick to 3 meals, and if you do drink an acidic beverage, don’t sip it over a long period of time, but try to drink it with your meal. Also, stick to whole, unprocessed foods when you can. Foods high in calcium, fiber, and are neutral on the pH scale are best. Avoid sticky, sugary foods. Also avoid, low pH drinks like soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
Many holistic dentists and alternative health practitioners recommend the ancient practice of oil pulling to help remove harmful bacteria from the mouth, reduce inflammation, prevent or alleviate gingivitis, prevent plaque building and improve overall oral health. Oil pulling is very simple to do, effective and especially beneficial for those who don’t want to use commercial mouthwashes due to the chemicals.
A Biological Dentist Can Help
If you have specific dietary needs or have questions about what to eat for a healthy mouth, Dr. Shetty and her team at Integrative Dental Solutions provides holistic dietary counseling along with your oral exam. An appointment with a biological dentist can help you determine the best diet for your oral and overall health. Make an appointment today!