Americans have a love affair with food, unfortunately that relationship is proving to one-sided as many citizens get the bulk of their energy from a diet brimming with empty calorie foods such as soda, processed flours and high-fat meats. As a result America has the most obese population of any industrialized country and that fact is dragging down the general well being and dental health of the average Jane or Joe. Fortunately, with proper nutrition and exercise the trend can be reversed and science indicates a diet rich in whole grains is like an added layer of dental insurance for those in need.
In 2011 the United States Department of Agriculture revamped the infamous Food Pyramid into a easier to visualize Nutrition Plate. The design provides a proportional guideline for what foods a person should consume in order to get the best vitamins, minerals and nutrients in the food chain. Whole grains (defined as containing the entire grain kernel the bran, germ and endosperm) are a vital part to the equation. Research out of Canada has shown that individuals who eat enough foods that fit into the category will benefit by lowering their levels of gum inflammation and subsequently, periodontal disease.
Whole grains are a source of natural goodness brimming with tons of components to benefit health. Research conducted at the McMaster University in Canada has indicated that individuals who ate at least three servings of whole grains a day are able to keep their teeth longer than their processed foods loving counterparts.
The study focused on a group of over 34,000 men whose dental health in relation to whole grains was analyzed for a period of 14 years. It was found that the gentlemen who consumed "...at least three daily whole grain servings were 23% less likely to suffer tooth-loosening gum inflammation (periodontitis) than those averaging fewer than one," (http://www.prevention.com/health/health/health-concerns/how-whole-grains-help-your-teeth/article/fa8bd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____).
Other studies have shown that consuming whole grains can help stabilize blood sugar levels. In turn, that will reduce periodontitis in diabetics and will also boost the dental health of others not afflicted with the condition.
Dental neglect will result in an excess of dental plaque which can trigger a myriad of dental problems all of which can be traced back to the earliest of stages, tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease can go by many names and periodontitis is just one of them.
Periodontitis is a condition market by indicators such as gum inflammation, spaces forming between teeth, pus oozing at the connectivity of teeth at gum lines, loose teeth, puffy, red, receding or bleeding gums. When left unchecked the condition will destroy the tissue and bone that support the teeth and can cause tooth loss which will cause additional dental problems down the line.
On the government's food plate, there is a space dedicated to "grains", qualified by additional language encouraging making whole grains the choice. The USDA further clarifies the issue by stating "grains are divided into 2 subgroups, whole grains and refined grains," and the refined or milled grains have been stripped of many of their nutrients including fiber, iron and many B vitamins and will do nothing to combat dental health issues.
Instead, individuals are advised to eat foods that are not processed and will provide the necessary bang for the buck. Whole grain options include amaranth, barley (flakes or hurled), brown rice, buckwheat, couscous, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, spelt and whole wheat (including but not limited to bulgur and durum).
The process of getting the important nutrients as the whole grain category is filled with delicious and nutritious options that can be incorporated into almost any meal. Breakfast fans can help get their whole grains quota by eating a bowl of steel cut or rolled oats flavored with fruits, cinnamon and a hint of maple syrup. Swapping out the processed bread on a lunchtime sandwich for an option made with whole grains can help contribute to the appropriate consumption level. Dinner can incorporate whole grains including whole-wheat pasta dishes, pilafs made with brown rice and entrees built around quinoa (a whole grain that is considered to be a perfect source as it also is rich in protein).
Although a diet rich in whole grains can help reduce the odds of developing dental problems, oral hygiene and regular dental visits must also be part of the process. Individuals need to brush twice a day and floss daily to remove excess dental plaque and follow up their due diligence with regular dental exams and checkups. Anyone struggling to find a dentist to assist with the latter can find a great dental care provider 24/7 simply by calling 1-800-Dentist.