HOW TO BOOST GUM HEALTH
Our gums act as a shield that protects our teeth, and the bone which anchors the teeth. The gums are the first defence against bacteria and they constantly renew by shedding the top layer of the cells and producing new cells. They have rich blood supply to help battle against bacteria. Hence we need to keep them as healthy as possible to allow them to maintain their function.
We need to brush our teeth really thoroughly to remove bacterial plaque which accumulates on our teeth every day. Dental plaque is formed of bacteria, proteins, sugars, bacterial byproducts and toxins. It starts growing right next to the gum line, this is why brushing the teeth on the gum line is so important. It also means that if the plaque is left there, it would trigger inflammation in the gums. Once you removed all the plaque you can further boost the health of the gums by eating more of these antioxidant rich foods:
EAT MORE OF THESE FOODS FOR HEALTHY GUMS
rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Research shows blueberries might help protect human cells agains damage and infection. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help strengthen the immune system also strengthening the gums.
are rich in antioxidants
Red berries, including strawberry and raspberry contain antioxidants that help protect our cells against harmful ingredients in the diet and environment.
vitsmin C, antioxidants, selenium
Grapes, especially dark-coloured ones, contain antioxidants which help to boost immune system, which means the defence of the gums against bacteria is quicker and more effective. Grapes also contain vitamin C and selenium which may also help protect agains oxidative damage and infection.
vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals
We all knew this was coming ... Leafy greens are good for everything, including the gum health! Spinach, broccoli, kale, cavolo nero, lettuce and leeks are packed with mouth-health vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants. They contain a lot of vitamin C known to help reduce inflammation and calm irritation of the tissues. It is easy to put them in soups and salads to boost your greens intake.
healthy oils, vitamins, minerals
Nuts are packed with 'good' fats along with some protein and minerals. Each type of nut offers a different selection of minerals and fats, so it is important to eat a variety each day. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s (reduce the intimation), brazil nuts contain a lot of selenium (protects against infection), almonds contain vitamin E which helps to maintain healthy condition of the connective tissue (tissue that makes up the gums), cashews are a good source of zinc and iron which promote healing, as well as magnesium which is anti-acing. Chestnuts are low in calories while rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6 and pecans are rich in antioxidants.
Orange fruits and vegetables
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin C (healing) and vitamin A (healthy connective tissue) while carrots, peppers and squash are rich in antioxidants boosting the immune system and the gums health.
fatty acids fight inflammation
Fish provide omega-3 fatty acids which may help prevent inflammation, including inflammation of the gums. Fish containing most of the omega-3 fatty acid include: sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring.
Whole grains, such as brown rice and rye bread, can improve the gum health by providing protective antioxidants (anti-inflammatory) and zinc and selenium (improved healing).
Tea, green tea in particular, provides potent antioxidants which help fight inflammation and prevent cell damage.
Yay !! In small quantities (small glass of wine a day), red wine is thought to help fight inflammation by providing cell-protective antioxidants.
Please remember, even if your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it is important to keep the gums clean by removing plaque from the teeth mechanically - by toothbrushing; good diet helps to maintain healthy gums but we have to remove the bacterial load first - by thorough toothbrushing and flossing or using interdental brushes.
Bon appétit !!
All illustrations by Rachael Yap
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