Did you know that what you eat can affect your gum health? Certain foods contain ingredients that can lead to plaque buildup and cavities, resulting in gum disease if left unchecked. To help keep your teeth and gums healthy, let’s take a look at some of the foods that you should avoid. 


Sticky Foods

Sticky foods are one of the worst culprits for gum health. Sticky candies and foods like caramel, taffy, and dried fruits tend to stick in crevices between your teeth and gums. If not removed promptly, these sticky foods will eventually cause plaque buildup, break down tooth enamel, and put you at risk for cavities or periodontal disease. As an alternative, try eating fresh fruits instead of dried ones or opt for candy that is easier to chew and remove from your mouth, such as chocolate or hard candy. 

Starchy Foods

Starchy food like white bread, potato chips, and crackers contain carbohydrates that can break down into simple sugars in our mouths, and this sugar then feeds harmful bacteria that can cause plaque buildup on our teeth. Try limiting these starchy snacks or eating them with other less sugary options such as raw vegetables or cheese for balance. 

Sugary Foods and Snacks

Another food that can impact your gum health is sugary snacks like cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, and other desserts. These snacks contain large amounts of sugar, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Try reducing the number of sugary snacks you have or replace them with healthier alternatives such as oatmeal cookies without added sugar or low-fat yogurt with fruit. 

Carbonated and Acidic Drinks

Carbonated and acidic drinks like soda pop also contribute to poor gum health due to their large amount of sugar. Aside from being loaded with sugar, soft drinks also contain phosphoric acid, which causes enamel erosion over time; this erosion makes teeth more sensitive and increases the chances of developing cavities. Be careful of sports and energy drinks, as they can contain just as much sugar and acidity. Switch out sugary drinks for healthier alternatives such as water or tea to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.  

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes are high in acidity, which erodes the enamel on our teeth and makes our gums more vulnerable to infection. Acidic foods can wear away at enamel over time, so if you enjoy eating citrus fruits and juices, try brushing after eating them or rinsing your mouth with water, so any remaining acid isn’t left sitting on your teeth or gums for too long.

Tobacco Products

Tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco are known to cause gum disease. The nicotine in these products can reduce blood flow to the gums, making them more susceptible to infection. Quitting smoking or using any type of tobacco product is the best way to keep your gums healthy and free from disease. 

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Keep Your Gums Happy and Healthy

In addition to eating healthy foods, regularly brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and having regular dental exams and cleanings are important steps toward ensuring optimal dental health!

Talk to your dentist at your next dental exam for more information on how diet affects oral hygiene. They can provide additional insight into dietary recommendations for maintaining excellent oral hygiene habits. If you’re looking for a dental exam in Denver or teeth cleaning in Denver, schedule your next visit with our experienced Denver dentists. To schedule an appointment, call (303) 321-5656 today or complete the online booking form. We are located at 3300 E. 1st Ave. Suite 615 in Denver, Co. We welcome patients from Cherry Creek, Englewood, and all surrounding metro communities. If you are searching for a dentist near me, trust the experts at Dewitt Dental and Associates.