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Posted on: May 29, 2013
What things benefit both your teeth and body?
When it comes to dental health, it’s important for you to understand that if you don’t take proper care of your teeth, you’ll experience consequences that extend far beyond the mouth. Tooth decay and gum disease can cause a host of physical problems, and some studies have even suggested that bacteria from the mouth can cross into the bloodstream and affect other organs. This is because the mouth is an integral part of your entire system.
Just as taking care of the teeth is good for the body, eating a healthy diet that benefits your heart is also good for the health of your mouth. Many of the same foods that can help you lose weight and ward off common illnesses have also been shown to potentially reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. So if you need another reason to eat healthier, you should add maintaining strong teeth to your the list.
Foods for a healthy mouth
Fruits and vegetables that contain nutrients with antioxidant properties have been associated with a number of healthy functions in the body. Antioxidants help fight off the effects of damaging free radicals on cells. Free radicals are substances found in the pollution you encounter during everyday life, from car exhaust to cigarette smoke.
Consuming antioxidants has been shown to help reduce inflammation caused by unwanted organisms in the body, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, antioxidants may also reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, since these dental problems are caused by bacteria in the mouth that inflame the gums. Also, many antioxidant-rich foods are low in sugar, which is important since sugar is the main source of food for the bacteria in your mouth.
There are many different antioxidants that can be found in a variety of foods. Some of the most well-known antioxidants are beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin C, selenium and vitamin E, according to the National Cancer Institute. You can find these antioxidants in sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, tomatoes, spinach, kale, milk and almonds.
Other foods that are good for the teeth include cheese, apples and celery. Cheese and other dairy products contain calcium, which is necessary for the development of strong teeth and bones. Apples and celery have been shown to naturally scrub the teeth, and are among the few foods that may actually help remove stains from the teeth rather than worsen them.
Quit smoking for your teeth and body
Along with eating healthy foods, Wenk also recommended that people quit smoking if they want to do something to benefit their teeth and body. If you smoke, you’re increasing the risk of tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession and gum disorders as well as throat, lung and oral cancer. Cigarettes also take a toll on the bone in your jaw, and your cardiovascular health, so overall it’s a good decision to make 2013 the year that you give up cigarettes.
There are many different tools to help you quite, from nicotine gum and patches to support groups. You should always seek help from your friends and family when you are trying to quit smoking since this usually requires a large amount of strength and willpower and it may help to have your family and friends there cheering you on.