Candy, soda, coffee, wine, tea – the list of things not to eat or drink if you want to have healthy teeth and gums seems endless! But what about the things you should consume? Milk is usually cited as being essential for strong bones and teeth, but there are other key foods you may not have considered. Here are 3 surprising foods which fight periodontal diseases by killing the harmful bacteria which cause them.
- Raw Onions
Although onions won’t be a friend to your breath, they can help rid your mouth of cavity and gum disease causing bacteria. Raw onions, and cooked though not as effective, contain antimicrobial sulfur compounds which fight off the harmful bacteria.
- Shitake Mushrooms
Shitake mushrooms contain a natural sugar, lentinan, which not only kills the bacteria which causes plaque but also leave the good bacteria unscathed. They’re also known for a host of other health benefits including boosting energy as a source of B Vitamins and boosting the immune system.
Garlic contains a substance called Allicin which gives it antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial uses. Unfortunately, it’s the same stuff that gives you garlic breath. The magic of garlic is, much like shitake mushrooms, it kills only the bad bacteria yet allows the good bacteria to live. Garlic is also known for preventing high blood pressure and heart disease.
Other foods which help maintain a healthy mouth are leafy greens, cheese (and other fermented dairy products), and kiwis (kiwis have the most concentrated vitamin C of any fruit). Scaling and root planning, also called deep cleaning, is still the most effective way to treat periodontal diseases such as gingivitis but consuming these foods will help you prevent harmful bacteria from flourishing and maintain your healthy smile.