Gum disease is not an uncommon problem in America today; in fact, it's estimated that about half of all Americans have gum disease, though the severity of gum disease differs from person to person. But if you've got gum disease while doing all of the recommended oral treatment for it—brushing regularly, flossing, and using antibacterial mouthwash—then you might want to look elsewhere for ideas to supplement your dental care. So if you're looking to kick your gum disease once and for all, then here's a few food groups that can work with your dental care routine for happier, healthier gums.
Kale, lettuce, spinach—so long as it's green and leafy, it can help promote gum health. Leafy greens contain a lot of Vitamin C, and Vitamin C helps not only to increase how many red blood cells you produce—thus helping you fight disease—but also helps to reduce inflammation in your body, which keeps sore, swollen gums at bay. As an added bonus, the roughage from chewing those greens stimulates the saliva in your mouth, which helps to wash away all that harmful bacteria.
Serving tip: a side salad is a great accompaniment to any meal, but you can also incorporate your leafy greens in the main dish, such as spinach pasta.
If leafy greens aren't really your thing, don't worry—there are plenty of veggies to choose from that help keep your gums healthy. Mushrooms, thanks to their heaping helping of an antibacterial compound known as lentinan, help to kill off the harmful bacteria in your mouth that leads to (and worsens) gum disease, especially in those areas of your mouth that your toothbrush has a little more trouble reaching. Bell peppers, like leafy greens, contain lots of Vitamin C, making them another veggie that's great for your gums.
Serving tip: sautéed mushrooms are buttery, earthy, and perfect in a stir-fry, while peppers are most at home in mouth-watering fajitas.
No matter if you prefer your drinks hot or cold, there's a drink out there for you to help to heal your gums for a healthier mouth. For cold drink lovers, look no further than milk, which contains enough calcium to neutralize acids in your mouth, which can eat away at your teeth and gums. If it's a bit chilly out for a tall glass of milk, green tea has plenty of antioxidants that help fight inflammation, keeping your gums healthy.
Serving tip: Smoothies are great for adding both milk and green tea to in order to increase their nutrients; include strawberries in that smoothie for an extra kick of Vitamin C.
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