How Important Is Nutrition To Your Oral Health?

How healthy is your diet?  When you plan your meals, do you give consideration to proper nutrition, balancing the carb, protein and fat intake in it? Do you know how what you eat correlates with your overall general health, or with your oral health?  Let’s talk about some information I recently found in respect to nutrition and your oral health.

Nutrition Position

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published their official position in the practice paper “Oral Health and Nutrition” in May 2013.  By the way, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “practice paper”, it is defined as a critical analysis of current research literature that enables Academy members to translate nutrition science into the highest quality advice and services.  Anyway, this document supports the Academy’s position on oral health and nutrition.  The Academy feels that nutrition is an integral part of oral health.  They feel that health care professionals need to be sure that their patients and charges understand the importance of nutrition as it applies to what they choose to eat and the resulting health condition of their mouth.

Aspects of Good Nutrition

The Academy promotes food practitioners to educate their patients and clients in the important aspects of good nutrition health and how it relates to good oral health.  Here are some of the suggestions and recommendations they make:

  • When fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are consumed, they recommend not adding any additional sugar as this will reduce the opportunity for cavity production.
  • Consuming less food and drinks that are acidic — examples given are: fruit juices, pickled foods, sour candies, citrus fruits and wine — these foods may cause dental erosion and cavities.
  • Consume fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, like soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks as this may also cause dental erosion and cavities.

These are just a few of the suggestions for changes in your nutritional habits that can help to improve your overall oral health situation.  If you have any doubts about any food or beverage, help is always available by seeking guidance from any registered dietician.  Your Periodontist on Long Island can also help.  He can help to suggest changes in your diet and eating habits that will help to improve and maintain better oral health.  And, remember that he can identify and treat gum disease in any member of your family.  Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

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