There are foods to avoid with periodontal disease. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from periodontal disease, you need to know what foods to avoid that can make your condition worse.

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a condition in which the gums and other tissues surrounding the teeth become infected. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque begins to form within 24 hours after brushing.

If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Plaque and tartar irritate the gums and cause them to become inflamed. This inflammation can eventually lead to infection. Periodontal disease is treatable, but it cannot be cured. You can help control this condition by knowing the foods to avoid with periodontal disease

What’s the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Gingivitis and periodontitis are both inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis is a less serious form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with good oral hygiene. Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gum disease that damages the tissues that support your teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. 

Both gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If you already have either condition, your dentist can recommend a treatment plan to help reverse the damage and prevent further progression of the disease.

How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?

Periodontal disease is diagnosed through a comprehensive oral exam. During the exam, the dentist or periodontist will check for signs of inflammation, including redness, swelling, and bleeding. They will also measure the depth of any pockets around the teeth. In some cases, x-rays may also be taken to get a better view of the structures below the gumline. 

After reviewing all of the diagnostic information, the dentist will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the needs of the patient. In some cases, simple measures such as improved oral hygiene may be sufficient to control the disease. However, more advanced cases may require medication or surgery. By getting an early diagnosis and following the recommended treatment plan, you can effectively manage periodontal disease.

The Foods to Avoid with Periodontal Disease List

Now that you understand just how serious periodontal disease is, let’s talk about all the types of foods to avoid with periodontal disease.

Acidic Foods to Avoid with Periodontal Disease

Acidic foods can cause the gum tissue to break down, which can lead to inflammation and infection. Foods that are high in acidity include citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, and pickles. These are foods to avoid with periodontal disease or keep to a minimum.

Cold Food & Drinks

Cold foods and drinks can cause the gum tissue to contract, which can lead to inflammation and pain. If you have periodontal disease, you’re best off avoiding these completely unless you’re able to drink them in moderation. Eating or drinking something that is going to cause you pain just isn’t worth the experience.

Sugar

Sugar is bad for our teeth, but sugar is especially harmful to those who suffer from periodontal disease. Sugar can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. In addition, sugar can also worsen existing inflammation. If you have periodontal disease, just avoid sugary foods and drinks.

Ice

While ice is not often included as a food, this does make the foods to avoid with periodontal disease list. Just like cold food and drinks, ice can also cause the gum tissue to contract and lead to inflammation. If you have periodontal disease, ice is something you don’t want to interact with much. Ice is also hard on the teeth and can cause them to crack or chip.

White Bread

White bread is made with bleached flour, which can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. White bread is also high in sugar, which can worsen the symptoms of periodontal disease. Plus, white bread is just not healthy food anyway and taking it out of your diet can be very beneficial.

Alcohol

Alcohol can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. In addition, alcohol can also worsen existing inflammation. If you have periodontal disease, alcoholic beverages should be avoided or drank in moderation. Moderation is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Potato Chips

Potato chips are high in salt, which can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar. In addition, potato chips are also high in sugar, which can worsen the symptoms of periodontal disease.

Coffee

Coffee is one of the foods to avoid with periodontal disease. Coffee is acidic, which can cause the gum tissue to break down and lead to inflammation. In addition, coffee is also a diuretic, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause the gums to become dry and irritated. Avoiding coffee may be extremely hard for some, but worth the trouble.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is high in sugar, which can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar. In addition, dried fruit is also sticky, adhering to the teeth and gums. You should just stay away from dried fruit or only consume very small amounts over extended periods of time.

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Starchy Foods to Avoid with Periodontal Disease

Foods to avoid periodontal disease include starchy foods. They can contribute to the formation of plaque and tartar, which can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. In addition, starchy foods can also worsen existing inflammation. As an example, popcorn is a common starchy food that people love to eat. However, popcorn is also high in sugar, which can make the symptoms of periodontal disease worse.

What Foods Should I Eat If I Have Periodontal Disease?

Now that you know what foods to avoid with periodontal disease, let’s talk about what you can and should eat.

Foods to avoid with periodontal disease_healthy foods to eat

Probiotic Foods

Probiotic foods are beneficial for overall oral health. They help fight against harmful bacteria in the mouth and promote a healthy balance of gut flora. Some probiotic foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins A and C, which are essential for oral health. They also contain calcium, which is necessary for strong teeth and bones. Some green leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard.

Omega-Three Fatty Acids

Omega-three fatty acids are beneficial for overall health, including oral health. They help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Some foods that contain omega-three fatty acids include salmon, tuna, flaxseed, and chia seeds.

Cacao

No, not cocoa. Cacao is the raw form of cocoa. Cacao is packed with antioxidants that help fight inflammation. Cacao also contains magnesium, which is necessary for healthy teeth and bones.

Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants that can help fight inflammation. Green tea also contains fluoride, which helps protect against tooth decay. However, this is somewhat acidic so green tea shouldn’t be relied on.

Red and Green Bell Peppers

Red and green bell peppers are rich in vitamins A and C, which are essential for oral health. They also contain calcium, which is necessary for strong teeth and bones.

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of nutrients for oral health. They contain vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Some great nuts and seeds for oral health include almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

If you have periodontal disease, eating a healthy diet full of foods that are good for oral health is essential. While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for people with periodontal disease, the food we listed can help fight inflammation and promote overall oral health.

Preventing & Managing Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is most commonly caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly. If plaque is not removed, plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. Treatment for periodontal disease may include professional cleanings, medications, and surgery.

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing regularly, using mouthwash, and avoiding tobacco products. Seeing your dentist regularly for professional cleanings is highly recommended.

If periodontal disease is caught early, the disease can be treated with a deep cleaning and special dental treatments. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. By following these steps, you can help prevent periodontal disease and keep your smile healthy for years to come.

Why Can’t Periodontal Disease Be Cured?

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums that can damage the bone and connective tissue that support the teeth. The reason periodontal disease can’t be cured is that the bacteria can’t be completely eliminated from the mouth. 

However, periodontal disease is treatable and manageable. As we discussed, with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you can help prevent periodontal disease and keep your smile healthy for years to come.

Conclusion

Now you know the foods to avoid with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a serious infection of the gums that can damage the bone and connective tissue that support the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. That’s why being on top of your oral health and ensuring that you are eating the right foods (and especially not the wrong ones) is so crucial.

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