The Worst Foods to Eat for Gum Health


A specific disease affects nearly half of American adults, but many people don’t know much about it. It’s called periodontal disease, and it affects your gums. At first, it causes few symptoms. Left unchecked, though, it gets increasingly uncomfortable and can even lead to tooth loss. 

Scott Evans, DDS, and his team are concerned that far too many people know far too little about this very common disease. That’s why we check your gum health at every dental cleaning and offer gum health care as part of our family dentistry services at our office in the University Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. 

Just like your teeth, though, your gums need you to take care of them so they stay healthy. With that in mind, we’ve built a list of the worst foods for your gum health so you can make good choices to keep your whole mouth healthy.

Foods that can contribute to periodontal disease

If you want to keep your gums healthy and irritation-free, steer clear of these food and drink groups:

Sugary foods

When you eat sugar, the bacteria in plaque can use it as fuel. That doesn’t just affect your teeth; it also impacts your gums. In fact, plaque buildup causes gum disease

That doesn’t mean you should never enjoy something sweet. But when you do, try to brush your teeth shortly after. This helps to remove the potentially gum-irritating sugars before it can cause problems for your periodontal health. 

Bread and crackers

You might not think of these as sugary foods but most carbohydrates consist largely of sugars. That’s especially true for simple carbs like white bread, pasta, and many crackers. 

Acidic foods

As you may expect, acid can irritate your gums. That means options like citrus and tomatoes can contribute to gum disease. To minimize the negative effects, try to pair acidic foods with low-acid options and brush your teeth soon after eating them. 

Soda and sports drinks

Food isn’t the only culprit when it comes to periodontal disease. In fact, drinks with lots of sugar can coat your teeth with just as much problematic material as food. 

This means you should limit your intake of not just soda, but sports drinks, too. Many sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar that can cause gum problems. 

Other gum health tips

Being mindful of what you eat and drink goes a long way toward protecting your oral health, but don’t stop there. Brushing and flossing daily removes plaque before it can turn into tartar, which you can’t get rid of at home. Once tartar develops, it poses a serious threat to your gum health.

Twice-yearly teeth cleanings with Dr. Evans also make a big difference. At our office, he removes any tartar that has developed in your mouth. He also checks your gums. If gum disease is caught early when it’s still in its early stage — gingivitis — you can much more easily reverse it. 

For the gum health care you and your family need, call our office at 214-337-5202 to schedule an appointment today.

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