Mouth bacteria doesn’t just cause bad breath and lead to unhealthy teeth and gums – it’s also linked to other health problems such as heart disease and even dementia.
Plaque is a type of biofilm which consists of a thin grouping of bacteria living on the teeth and gum tissue. If allowed to build up, it can cause gum disease. Eventually, as the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, the bacteria can destroy the bone underneath that supports the teeth, causing tooth loss.
We all want to have a healthy mouth filled with gleaming white teeth, but if you’d rather skip those toxic chemicals used in most whitening treatments and save a lot of cash in the process, consider including the following foods in your diet.
These foods can naturally fight mouth bacteria and lead to a whiter smile, as well as to better health. Keep in mind that you should choose organic whenever possible, to avoid ingesting toxins which could counteract your efforts.
While garlic may temporarily give you bad breath, its antimicrobial properties actually help to battle bacteria in the mouth. A compound found in garlic, known as allicin, helps to inhibit periodontitis, a serious gum infection that damages soft tissues and destroys the bone that supports the teeth. If you’re concerned about its immediate effects, chewing a sprig of parsley can help to alleviate garlic breath.
Taking a big bite out of an apple and chewing on it actually helps to scrub your teeth clean. This fruit has a high concentration of malic acid, which is even used in some brands of toothpaste. This substance helps to increase saliva in the mouth, which cleans the teeth and helps to remove stains, according to a recent study out of the University of Grenada in Spain.
Eating pineapple isn’t just a great way to take you to the tropics – it can actually help to whiten your teeth. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, an anti-inflammatory agent that acts like a natural stain remover and helps to break up the plaque that builds up on your teeth. It’s the only food found in nature that contains this enzyme.
Onions contain sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfinates, which are known to decrease bacteria. However, to get the antibacterial effect of these compounds, the onion must be eaten raw, as cooking will destroy them.
Ginger is not only a delicious spice, it also offers potent anti-inflammatory properties that can support healthy mouth tissue. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that may cause the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue. Using ginger to spice up your foods, or adding it to hot tea, helps to keep inflammation in check.
Munching on raw carrots helps to stimulate saliva and naturally cleanse the mouth. These brightly-colored veggies are also packed full of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy tooth enamel.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy revealed that cranberry juice helps to stop the growth of the collection of bacteria that builds up on the teeth and throughout the mouth, causing tooth decay and periodontal disease. Just make sure you are using the juice from fresh cranberries; those cranberry juice cocktails at the supermarket are not nearly the same thing.
As cheese is rich in minerals like calcium, protein and phosphorous, it can help buffer the acids in the mouth. Calcium and phosphorous also help to build stronger bones and repair teeth.
Drinking plenty of filtered or pure spring water each day offers a wealth of health benefits. One of these benefits is promoting saliva production, which helps to keep teeth white. Be sure to drink a glass of water during and after a meal to rinse your mouth free of loose plaque and other debris.
By enjoying the above-listed foods as part of a healthy diet, you’ll increase your odds of a having a natural, beautiful smile without having to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get it!
-The Alternative Daily