The importance of nutrition in oral health

Nutrition is and will continue to be one of the essential elements for the body, mostly because it is provided with the necessary resources for its proper functioning through the nutrients ingested in each food. Nutrition plays a fundamental role during every stage of life, from the prenatal period to adulthood, where a well-balanced diet allows people’s physical and mental growth. Just as nutrition has a direct relationship with well-being and development, it also directly impacts the entire structure of the mouth, mainly because this is where the digestive process begins.

Importance of nutrition

In the mouth, we can find teeth, tongue, tissues, and gums, which, if not properly maintained, can cause oral diseases, which can completely damage the aesthetics and functionality of each of these parts. As this area is a soft tissue area that is extremely sensitive, malnutrition and nutrient deficiency can cause not only damage to a healthy mouth but can increase the risk or damage of conditions such as diabetes, periodontal disease, gum disease, alterations in digestive health, or dental diseases such as tooth decay. 

Since poor nutrition is a risk for the appearance of caries due to acidity in the plaque and increases the chances of periodontal disease or oral infections due to the erosion of tooth enamel, health professional, i.e., the dentist, must recognize whether another alteration causes the presence of these pathologies or if they are the result of a nutritional deficiency. Mostly because when the patient doesn’t have a correct diet, all the ravages will be reflected in the oral cavity, so it is recommended that, to avoid the risk of these disorders, there is a preventive treatment that prioritizes not only the appearance of the mouth area but also has a focus on nutrition.

Nutrition is vital for oral health because the way a person eats can completely alter healthy teeth and the oral cavity structure. A person with poor nutrition will always present more oral diseases than one who has a balanced diet. In the absence of the necessary nutrients to provide strength and proper maintenance, the risk of diseases in the tissues and teeth will be almost one hundred percent. Therefore, poor nutrition causes cavities, lesions in the dental enamel, severe gum disease, and tooth loss. 

The intake of nutrients provides more possibilities for a healthy mouth and gives the body a good state of health; that is why Tijuana dentists know and emphasize the treatment to prevent chronic diseases caused by poor nutrition.  

When this aspect is improved, dental treatment and any procedure that health care professionals wish to perform will improve significantly, mainly because there will be the necessary nutrients to repair and recover tissues, teeth, gums, and mucous membranes. The body is also provided with the elements required for correct functioning that reduces the signs of poor oral conditions and the control of other types of ailments.

Oral health problems that can be prevented with a good diet

Periodontal disease

Studies have determined that periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions in adults and is often associated with poor diet and poor hygiene. This condition is also known as severe gum disease because it affects this tissue area in an uncontrolled manner. Inflammation and oral infections caused by this pathology and excess plaque can cause the gums at risk to weaken to the extent that they become a chronic condition that threatens the stability of a healthy body. On the other hand, one of the signs of gum damage is bone resorption, where the lack of vitamin D and calcium increases the risk of tooth loss and osteoporosis.

Therefore, nutrition is an elemental sign to prevent and treat this inflammatory process, mainly because when there is a correct balance of nutrients, the damaged cells and structures allow a reparative action and keep the bacteria under control.

Diseases of the oral mucosa

As mentioned, when there is poor nutrition, the mouth will always be the first affected. One of the first signs is oral infections, which increase the chances of mouth lesions and injuries in the whole organism. For example, affections such as diabetes or heart disease can increase the amount of substances that can directly affect the oral mucosa, increasing periodontal diseases, cavities, gum and tissue problems, dry mouth, and fungus in the area. Additionally, scientific studies have determined that specific actions also impact the mucosa’s health, such as tobacco, which, if not controlled, can cause oral cancer.

The role played by the dentist, an expert in oral health issues, is essential for the prevention of this type of oral diseases, not only for an early diagnosis of a nutritional deficiency but also for the recovery of the functionalities of this area; and this will be possible thanks to the oral health services offered. 

Prevention through nutrition

Decades ago, it was not believed in the power of nutrition in oral health care. Still, studies that have been conducted by various institutions on oral health topics have determined the incredible power of food in the welfare of the oral cavity and the entire body. Access to this information allows, from an early age, to avoid any disease of childhood associated with a nutrient deficiency, to reduce the risk factors for oral problems caused by cardiovascular diseases or any systemic conditions, to prevent alterations that affect dental health and aesthetics, such as tooth abscess or yellow teeth, among other things.

For this to be possible, it is necessary to:

  • Avoid fried foods and processes, especially those with a high percentage of sugars. In this way, the risk of damage caused by gum infection will be reduced, and diabetes control will be achieved.
  • Increase of cereals, fruits, and vegetables to avoid and reduce oral diseases for oral health care.
  • Reduce the consumption of lipids since they affect health and cause the signs of heart disease endocarditis to increase.
  • Avoid tobacco use, which can lead to respiratory diseases, bone-weakening diseases, and dental problems that lead to an unhealthy mouth.

Many actions can be performed to have a healthy mouth, but it is essential to visit a dentist who has the knowledge and recognizes the importance of nutrition. Because in this way, it will be possible to have a correct diet that avoids the appearance of diseases that will affect the oral cavity’s health and improve the results of oral health services.