Nutrition and Oral Health

Overview

Eating a well-balanced diet helps your body get the nutrients needed for good overall health. If your diet is low in nutrients your body needs, your mouth will most likely have a difficult time resisting disease and infection.

How Does Nutrition Affect Oral Health?

A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in starches, carbohydrates, and sugars, greatly contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack the tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity.

Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. Almost all foods, including milk and vegetables, contain some type of sugar. However, these foods are a necessary part of a healthy diet because many of them also contain important nutrients. To help control the amount of sugar you consume, read food labels and choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugars.