Food is an essential part of our survival. There are a variety of foods in the market today to suit different palates.
The type of food you consume daily can have a significant impact on your oral health and wellbeing.
However, planning a proper diet and selecting food items that benefit the oral and overall health is what matters the most.
By now, you must have already read about the harmful effects of acidic food on the mouth. They cause enamel erosion and increases the incidence of tooth decay.
Food with high alkalinity has proven to counteract the effects of acidic foods. Moreover, it is beneficial for long term health of the mouth and body.
Everyone must have heard about the pH dynamics. Our mouth has a pH level slightly above neutral. Consuming alkaline foods maintains the normal pH of the mouth and body.
Furthermore, they improve the quality of life by decreasing the incidence of stroke, hypertension, and improves the health of the oral tissues.
To know more about the benefits of alkaline foods, continue to read the article and adapt the changes in your life.
Every food that we consume has either a high level of acidic or alkaline content. The acidity and alkalinity of the food can be measured by using a pH meter.
Ideally, pH seven is marked as neutral. pH levels below seven are considered as acidic, and those above seven are alkaline.
Our mouth and body have a pH slightly above neutral, which is 7.4, which is close to alkalinity. This is one of the reasons why alkaline food is healthy for the mouth and body. (1)
Acidic diet negatively impacts the health and wellbeing with a particular focus on oral health impairment. It reduces the salivary flow in the mouth, increases bacterial and plaque accumulation. Furthermore, it makes the teeth weak.
Eating an alkaline diet balances the internal pH levels of our body and mouth. Furthermore, it supports the internal organ systems and overall functions of the body.
What are the benefits of having an alkaline diet on oral health?
A majority of the population consumes acidic food. This food impairs dental health and causes tooth decay, enamel erosion, dry mouth, and in severe cases, oral infections.
Alkaline diet counteracts the adverse effects of the acidic environment. It changes the oral health from becoming a breeding ground of bacteria to a bacterial free, moist, clean, and healthy environment. An alkaline diet also reduces gum inflammations. (2)
Some of the oral health benefits of alkaline food are as follows –
- Alkaline food lowers down the acid intake into the mouth and body.
- Unlike acidic food, alkaline food does not cause acid erosion of the enamel. They help to protect the integrity of the tooth.
- Alkaline foods do not hinder the process of tooth remineralization. Therefore, they decrease the incidence of tooth sensitivity and tooth decay.
- Alkaline foods encourage increased salivary flow. Saliva is essential to keep the mouth clean, moist, and hydrated. Moreover, a clean mouth reduces bad breath.
In addition to oral health care, alkaline diet also improves overall wellbeing and reduces the incidence of stroke, hypertension and diabetes type 2. (3)
What are the types of alkaline food?
It is better to include more amount of raw and unprocessed food in your diet. Additionally, the more colorful your diet is, the better your health and wellbeing will be.
Most of the food items in an alkaline diet include –
- Fresh green vegetables contain a high amount of alkalinity. You can consist of cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, and parsley.
- Additionally, sprouts, endive, and garlic are also useful for health.
- Fresh fruits like grapes, pomegranate, coconut, avocado, tomato, and lemon.
- Lentils and beans contain the right amount of protein. (4)
- Flax seeds, pomegranate seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, olives, primrose, and borage.
- Nuts like almonds, cashew, and walnut.
- Hummus and tahini.
While focusing on the type of food suitable for oral health, you must also take a note on the foods that you should avoid.
Foods to avoid are as follows –
- Dairy products like butter, ghee, and milk
- Processed food
- Saturated fat
- Starchy food like potatoes
- Vegetable oil
While citrus foods have several health benefits, they must be consumed in moderation as they are acidic and can affect the health of tooth enamel. Also, while consuming citrus food, rinse your mouth with water to minimize the damage to your teeth.
Restricting yourself from eating your favorite food like candy, pie, and chips can be challenging. But don’t get discouraged.
Trying a new diet and getting accustomed to it takes time and dedication. Look for new innovative recipes and spices to enhance your alkaline diet and make it tasty.
Take away message
Many of us know that eating nutritious food and having a healthy diet is essential for good oral and overall health.
Our wellbeing solely depends on the type of healthy food we eat to maintain our body functions. Acidic foods like sugars, dairy products, grains, potatoes, and processed food have a severe impact on oral health.
These food items cause an imbalance in the natural pH levels of the mouth and turn it into a bacterial breeding ground.
Alkaline foods help to bring back the ideal pH level of the mouth and maintain a healthy oral environment by increasing salivary flow in the mouth.
Moreover, alkaline foods like fresh green vegetables, fruits, and nuts allow remineralization of the teeth and maintain the integrity of tooth enamel.
If you are unsure about your diet plan, you can consult your dentist to follow a food guide.
Now that you’ve read about the benefits of alkaline foods switch your diet and enjoy a healthy bacterial free oral environment.