Reduce your risk of gum disease and oral disease
We’re not saying you don’t have to brush your teeth, but the latest research shows that a plant-based diet is good for your health even before you swallow your food. Recent studies show that a vegetarian diet lowers your risk for gum disease, more technically known as periodontitis. This results in a lower risk of bleeding gums, gingivitis, and tooth loss. A plant-based diet also reduces the risk of painful aphthous ulcers also known as canker sores. This condition affects approximately 20% of the general population.
A plant-based diet reduces inflammation and that can extend to your gums. It also provides phytonutrients which are substances present in plant foods, in addition to vitamins and minerals, that have health promoting properties including reducing inflammation. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, many phytonutrients are good antioxidants which can help prevent cancer and other diseases.
Recent studies show that eating processed meat such as bacon and sausages and red meat increases the risk of cancer of the mouth and the oropharynx or back of the mouth and throat. The World Health Organization has determined that processed meat is a carcinogen, something that causes cancer, so avoiding meat, especially processed meat, is a good idea.
Going to the dentist is vital for good oral health, but studies show that vegetarians visit the dentist less often. While it helps considerably, we don’t want you to get over-confident about the ability of a vegetarian diet to protect your gums and especially your teeth. Another thing to note, and it’s a big one, cigarette and cigar smoking, along with chewing tobacco, very greatly increase the risk of cancer in the mouth and gum disease. Brushing, flossing and other oral hygiene are vital to good oral health and no diet can substitute for that.