Certain foods may have a negative impact on your gums and teeth

Make sure that you avoid these snacks this winter to keep your mouth in tip top condition.

What is tooth decay and gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a common type of gum disease that many people can easily be at risk of getting. Your gingiva is the section of your gum which is found around the base of the teeth. Gingivitis can cause soreness, swelling and irritation of your gingiva, which can lead to dangerous results such as tooth loss and a more serious gum disease named periodontitis. The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. We recommend that all of our clients keep up good hygiene habits such as brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental check-ups with us at G Dental. All of these little daily habits can help prevent and reverse gingivitis; saving you from a lot of hassle later on in life. Tooth decay occurs when your tooth enamel is softened, consequently damaging the tooth. This occurs due to plaque acids that are produced from the breaking down of sugars in your mouth. If this is problem is not fixed, cavities (a hole in the tooth) can ultimately arise. But wait, it could get worse. If this is still left untreated, this hole will expand and possibly annihilate the whole tooth. Alongside this, these acids could even break down the underlying layer of tooth identified as dentin which can now cause a root cavity. Nerves will then become exposed which causes you to feel pain when you eat. You may possibly have a form of tooth decay if you feel discomfort near the root of the tooth. Don’t panic about all of these scary possibilities because with discipline and care for your teeth it can all be avoided.

What can cause tooth-decay and gingivitis?

The main cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene – you must floss daily, go to dental check-ups as well as brush your teeth regularly.  Poor hygiene encourages plaque to form on your teeth and this is what can cause the gingivitis. Unsurprisingly the main cause of tooth decay is also poor oral hygiene. If you suffer from dry mouth this can worsen the build-up of plaque because saliva assists your teeth by washing plaque away.

Which foods should you be mindful of eating this winter?

The weather is getting colder which means we want to try feel warmer. This means we tend to want to have hot beverages such as tea, coffee and hot chocolate, but too much of these drinks are unfavourable to your teeth as they cause tooth decay. This is because there is a lot of sugar in these beverages which encourages tooth decay, especially hot chocolate. Be careful of any type of acidic foods such as oranges or pineapples. This is because regular exposure to these foods erodes the enamel on your tooth – encouraging decay over time. It is important to get your vitamin C intake but perhaps consider taking some vitamins and putting the fruit salad down for a bit. Dried fruits (such as apricots, figs and raisins) may appear to be healthy but they are also extremely sticky, prompting decay.

So, what should I be eating instead?

Water is the key to keeping your teeth healthy and still being able to indulge in all your favourite yummy treats. After eating or drinking any of the above mentioned foods or drinks, rinse your mouth with some water to wash away any sugars or staining agents. Make sure you’re visiting your dentists at G Dental to keep your teeth healthy and shining bright. Book an appointment for your next check-up on 03 9435 6063 or by visiting us here.