Oral hygiene is defined as the practice of keeping one's mouth clean and free of diseases and other problems like bad breath. Looking after the health of your teeth to prevent tooth decay is only a part of good oral hygiene practice and not the whole thing. To make sure you are taking good care of your oral health, it is as important to take care of the gums too, which are the soft tissue lining of the mouth. They surround the teeth and provide a protective seal around them. Gums are sensitive in nature and needs a lot of care and nurture. Not giving your gums the care they require may result in various problems such as gingivitis, where the gums swell up.
Here are certain foods that may help you have healthy and strong gums -
Apples are a great source of fiber that act as a cleansing agent. It contains malic acid that boosts saliva production, hence removing bacteria from the mouth. The fibrous texture of apples also helps in improving the health of your gums.
Apples can help strengthen gum
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are slightly abrasive in texture and therefore, they help in removing plaque and stains from your teeth. The omega-3 fatty acids present in walnuts and flax seeds can also help in lowering the risk of gum disease that can damage your teeth.
Omega- 3 fatty acids can work wonders for healthy gums; Photo Credit: Istock/5PH
3. Vitamin C Foods
According to Dr. Simran of Fortis Hospital, the high amount of vitamin C found in oranges, berries and lime can also help in protecting the gums from infections.
While calcium in milk fortifies your teeth, the protein casein helps reduce acid levels in the mouth, thereby reducing gum corrosion.
Milk is good for both your teeth and gums
5. Aloe Vera
According to the book Healing Foods by DK publishing, aloe vera has immense anti-inflammatory properties. "It also contains salicylic acid, the base material for aspirin, so it is useful for general aches, pains...As a gargle it is also a beneficial treatment for gingivitis, an inflammatory condition of the gums."
Aloe vera has immense anti-inflammatory properties
"Chew dried berries thoroughly to release their gum-protecting properties and to give gums a gentle massage," suggests the book Healing Foods.
Chewing dried cranberries could strengthen your gum
Thyme has strong antibacterial properties. "When made into a tea, thyme can be used to treat sore throats and gum disease.
Delhi-based Nutritionist Dr. Simran Saini tells us, "Fibre-packed leafy vegetables are good for both healthy teeth and gums. The extra saliva produced by continuous chewing of these high fibre foods neutralises mouth bacteria and keeps your mouth clear of the gum-destroying bacteria. Green raw vegetables in the form of wholesome salads is also a good idea."
Healthy greens can pave way for healthy gums
Save yourself the great pain that can follow due to infected gums and load up on these healthy foods for healthy gums.