My grandfather had all of his original teeth when he was 76-years-old. He brushed his teeth every day with the old-fashioned tooth powder that came in a can. He never flossed and attributed the longevity of his teeth to the fact that he chewed tobacco all of the time. He said that the tobacco juice killed off the bacteria in his mouth.
A lot of the other members of my family weren’t so lucky as my grandfather. Most of them had false teeth by the time they were 60. Many of them lost their teeth to gum disease. I just went back to the dentist for the first time in over 20 years. My checkup wasn’t really that bad: a couple of fillings and a cap for a broken tooth and a good teeth cleaning. The dentist was pretty surprised when I told him how long it had been.
But with the recent news that poor dental health can lead to an assortment of other problems including heart disease it’s even more important to visit the dentist regularly. Besides seeing the dentist regularly, cutting down on sweets, brushing and flossing every day, is there anything else that you can do to keep you teeth, gums, and mouth healthy?
According to the Healthy Planet Magazine: “Studies show that regular exercise and stress reduction can have anti-inflammatory effects. Besides exercising and, of course, getting regular dental checkups, choosing certain foods may help you protect both your gums and heart.”
So what kinds of food are good for your dental health and your heart?
Raisins are one. Yes raisins. You’d never guess it, but raisins have a certain chemical in them that can kill bacteria and fight gum disease.
Green tea is another. Drinking just one cup of green tea will not only give you excellent amounts of anti-oxidants, and one of those anti-oxidants impede your body’s response to bacteria that can cause inflammation. Did I say that the body’s response to bacteria in your mouth can cause inflammation in your arteries and that is the enemy here.
Whole grains. It is known that diabetics have more inflammation and henceforth more heart disease than the normal population. This is caused by increases in blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates like whole wheat and oatmeal cause a slower rise in blood sugar than refined carbohydrates like white bread and sugar. So get rid of the white bread and the candy bars. Sugar also increases the amount of acid in your mouth which causes cavities and these are ideal places for the bacteria to grow.