Dental damage due to healthy eating
Most people learn in childhood that there are foods that can have a dramatic negative impact on dental health. Above all, typical children’s foods such as candy, chocolate or sugary soft drinks should be mentioned here. What Many Don’t Know: Certain healthy foods can damage teeth as well.
Diet has a major impact on dental health. Not only foods high in sugar, but also some healthy foods can damage teeth. (Image: Parilov / stock.adobe.com)
Brushing your teeth is the most effective way to prevent dental problems, but good nutrition is also extremely important for oral hygiene. For example, foods high in sugar should be avoided as much as possible. But healthy foods can also be a problem.
Acids in fruits and vegetables
More and more adolescents and adults are paying more attention to their diet. However, a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables contains natural acids which can attack and dissolve the tooth. Dentists at Leipzig University Hospital (UKL) underline this in a message.
“This type of dental damage is not called decay, but rather erosion. Current data shows that their frequency is increasing, ”explains Professor Rainer Haak, director of the Polyclinic for Dental Conservation and Periodontology at UKL.
According to Haak, the “healthy” diet change in recent years has resulted in great additional erosive potential. High-profile sports and fitness drinks in particular, but also food supplements, could attack tooth enamel either directly or by altering the environment of the oral cavity.
Milk and yogurt can protect
As Professor Marcella Esteves Oliveira, Chief Medical Officer of the Polyclinic for Dental Conservation and Periodontology, explains, current research projects show that “frequent consumption of vitamin C chewable tablets, fruit juices or acidic sweets leads in many cases to a greater loss of so-called hard tooth substance.
According to them, carbonated drinks also significantly increase the risk of dental erosion if consumed more than three times a day.
“On the other hand, more frequent consumption of milk and yogurt has a more protective effect because they have a high calcium content”, explains Professor Esteves Oliveira.
Prevent “chalk teeth”
UKL academic dentistry experts have looked at other questions regarding the effects of diet on oral health. One of them is: is breastfeeding good or bad for your teeth? There are conflicting statements about this in the specialist literature.
“Data from the Life Child study shows that children who are exclusively breastfed in the first six months of life have a lower risk of tooth decay compared to those who have not been breastfed at all or for a long time, ”explains Professor Christian Hirsch, director of the polyclinic for pediatric dentistry and primary prophylaxis at UKL.
“Especially in the first months of life, breast milk helps ensure that a healthy balance of bacteria is established in the oral cavity of the child,” explains the expert.
In addition, a balanced diet with sufficient calcium and vitamins ensures the proper progress of the mineralization of permanent teeth and the formation of so-called “chalk teeth” is avoided, especially for preschool children, explains the Professor Hirsch.
And nutrition also plays an important role in oral health in the elderly. According to experts, it starts with getting enough fluids so that enough saliva can be produced. A dry mouth is not only very uncomfortable, it also breaks teeth faster.
In addition, suitable and functional dental prostheses or new artificial teeth (implants) allow you to eat healthy and wholesome foods that must be chewed. Not only does it taste better, but it also becomes easier on the intestines. (a d)
Author and source information
This text conforms to the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Universitätsklinikum Leipzig: From Infants to Seniors: Nutrition Plays a Decisive Role in Healthy Mouth and Teeth, (accessed September 28, 2020), Universitätsklinikum Leipzig
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.