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Nutrition and Dental Health


Diet and nutrition clearly play a big role in your overall health and well being, you can’t ignore the effect what your eating habits have on your dental health. From diets that are high in sugar to foods that can damage and crack the tooth at a structural level, you should consider the effects of dietary choices on your teeth. Here are ideas for increasing awareness about your diet and the effect on your general as well as oral health.

Diet and oral health

Unhealthy diet and poor nutrition

affect the teeth and growth of the jaws during development and later during the life-course. The most significant effect of diet is in the mouth, particularly in the development of dental caries and enamel erosion. Dental erosion is associated with dietary acids, of which a major source is soft drinks. Scientific evidence shows an association between the intake of free sugars and dental caries.

Tooth decay

All sugars can cause decay. Sugar can come in many forms. Usually, ingredients ending in ‘ose’ are sugars, for example, sucrose, fructose, and glucose are just three types. These sugars can all damage your teeth.

Many processed foods have sugar in them, and the higher up it appears in the list of ingredients, the more sugar there is in the product. Always read the list of ingredients on the labels when you are food shopping.

Your body needs strong teeth

Teeth and eating go hand in hand. You can’t separate your diet and dental health. If you don’t have healthy teeth, it’s because of your diet. Our own bodies tell us that we need a dental health diet. We aren’t meant to get dental cavities or broken teeth.

Teeth are coated by the hardest structure in your body. Teeth are for catching and eating food. They help you chew, digest and absorb nutrients from your diet. Your teeth are strongly connected to the brain through one of your largest nerve networks. That’s because your body needs to know exactly what’s going in your mouth. 

Foods for Optimum Dental Health

Vitamins and Herb supplements

When it comes to obtaining the micronutrients your body needs, your best possible source is food, especially fruits and vegetables. But circumstances may prevent you from eating optimally every day. Vitamins, minerals and other supplements won’t compensate for a poor diet, but they can help fill nutritional gaps in a good one , Important minerals and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy include:


Essential for bone health; teeth and jaws are made mostly of calcium, sources are Milk and dairy products, beans, broccoli, nuts and oyster

Vitamin B3

(niacin); A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores, Rich sources are  Chicken and fish

Vitamin C

Helps produce collagen, the connective tissue that holds bone; rich sources are Sweet potatoes, raw red peppers, and oranges. A deficiency may lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth

Vitamin K

Helps synthesize three proteins in bone needed for strength and also noted for its role in blood clotting, rich sources are broccoli and leafy greens


is important for bone formation, found in Green vegetables, legumes and nuts


Deficiency can cause tongue inflammation and mouth sores. Sources are Red meat, poultry, fish, fortified cereals, some vegetables, and nuts

Vitamins B12 and B2

riboflavin); Mouth sores can develop with insufficient B12 and B2, Sources for B12 are red meat, chicken liver, pork and fish, dairy products, Sources for B2 are  pasta, bagels, spinach and almonds

Vitamin D

Enables the body to absorb calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth, sources are milk, egg yolks, fish and limited amounts of sunshine


Promotes strong bones and helps develop and maintain collagen, found in Seafood, meat, and liver.


Helps promote good mineral density and reduces calcium loss  – Fruits and vegetables

Anti-inflammatory Diet

Food for Oral Health Is Food for Overall Health

Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help neutralize the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases, including those that become more frequent as people age. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.

The Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid provides abundant vitamins, minerals, and fiber; facilitates stable blood-sugar levels; and helps control the inappropriate inflammation that underlies many chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases Heart conditions and Age-related diseases, including cancer Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Nutritional advice for better Dental Health

Recognize the Difference in Sugar Types

Sucrose, lactose and fructose are three different sugar types. Lactose, the type found in milk, is an ally in the fight against tooth decay. Fructose and sucrose typically line up on the other side of the battle, as opponents of good oral health. The most-consumed sugary products are typically high-fructose soft drinks (sodas), so avoiding them is highly recommended.


Foods that Fight Fat

One cup of berries provides all the disease-fighting antioxidants you need in a single day.  Antioxidants are important disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe they help prevent and repair the stress that comes from oxidation, a natural process that occurs during normal cell function.

A small percentage of cells becomes damaged during oxidation and turns into free radicals, which can start a chain reaction to harming more cells and possibly disease. The unchecked free radical activity has been linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.


Understanding the Role of Starches

Starches affect dental health as well. On the one hand, whole-grain starches are beneficial, as they create saliva that helps wash bacteria away from your teeth.

Sugary starches (such as cakes and biscuits) can prove to be lethal for teeth. In general, you can guess that naturally sweet foods like fruits and vegetables are going to have a positive effect on your oral and general health, while baked and otherwise processed foods will have the opposite effect.


Prevention and Home care

Limit consumption of food and beverages that contribute to poor oral health.

• Eat sweets at mealtime, not as a snack, because the increased flow of saliva during a meal helps protect the teeth by washing away and diluting sugar.

• If sugar is the first ingredient listed on a product label, then the food has high sugar content. Look for other sugars on the label: corn syrup, corn sweeteners, dextrose, fructose, glucose, and honey.

• Check to see if liquid medicines contain sugar. Ask the doctor or pharmacist for sugar-free medicines.

• Drink water between meals.

• Prepare food in healthy ways, such as steaming, sautéing, poaching or baking. Avoid fried food and limit salt intake.

Food and drink cause erosion

The Link between Your Teeth, Real Food, and Life-Changing Natural Health 

Acidic food and drinks can cause dental erosion – the gradual dissolving of the tooth enamel. Listed below are the ‘pH values’ of some food and drinks. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the product. Anything with a pH value lower than 5.5 may cause erosion. ‘Alkalis’ have a high pH number and cancel out the acid effects of sugars. pH 7 is the middle figure between acid and alkali.

Mineral water (still) pH 7.6              Milk pH 6.9

Cheddar cheese pH 5.9                  Lager pH 4.4

Orange juice pH 3.8                          Grapefruit pH 3.3

Pickles pH 3.2                                       Cola pH 2.5

Need more advice?

If you need advice about your oral health, contact our patient care coordinator on 01772 – 726932 to arrange your consultation