National Eat Your Vegetables Day!

Eat Your Veggies 2019.jpg

It's #NationalEatYourVegetablesDay - Did you know that eating veggies can improve your dental health?

The foods you choose, when and how often you eat them not only affect your general health, but also the health of your teeth and gums.

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry highlighted some great benefits to a healthy diet and how it effects not only your overall health - but your dental health as well.

Some of the best foods for healthy teeth are fresh fruits and veggies because of their nutritional and mouth health benefits. For example, crisp fruits and raw vegetables, like apples, carrots and celery, help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath. Many fruits and vegetable contain lots of antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C, that help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection. Leafy salad greens contain lots of folic acid, a member of the B vitamin family, which promotes a healthy mouth and supports cell growth throughout the entire body.

For healthy teeth and gums this, look for these fruits and veggies in your local grocery or farmers market.

Priveer Sharma Oral Surgeon Charlotte North Carolina Ballantyne Dental Implants Best

Apples and Citrus Fruit

While not a substitute for brushing and flossing, eating an apple or other fiber-filled fruits like oranges, carrots or celery can help clean your teeth. And while sugary apple juice may contribute to tooth decay, fresh apples are less likely to cause problems. This is because chewing the fibrous texture of apples stimulates your gums, further reducing cavity-causing bacteria.

Be sure your diet includes citrus and other fresh fruits rich in vitamin C, such as apples, pears, strawberries, pineapples, tomatoes and cucumbers -- all rich in vitamin C.

Carrots, Celery, and Root Vegetables

Just like apples and oranges, chewing raw carrots, celery and other hard root vegetables stimulates the gums to help clean your teeth! Carrots and celery are also good sources of beta carotene, which your body needs to create vitamin A -- a nutrient essential for building strong teeth.

Leafy Greens

Priveer Sharma Oral Surgeon Charlotte North Carolina Ballantyne Dental Implants Best

Leafy green and dark, multi-colored vegetables such as lettuce and kale, spinach, asparagus, cabbage, chard and other greens are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain and improve oral health. Nutrients found in these dark green foods include vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus is stored in your teeth and bones to help your body balance and absorb calcium and magnesium.

In summary, a healthy and well balanced diet is highly recommended for your dental and overall health.

Oral Cavity Cancers – What Is It and Risk Factors

Did you know - April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

One type of cancer we see the most of in our office, and have helped patients treat, are Oral Cavity Cancers. In our office, when a suspicious oral lesion is found, a biopsy is often used to detect or rule out oral cancer — a disease that is treatable if caught early. A biopsy involves removing a very small tissue sample for laboratory analysis.

There are generally three types of tumors that can develop in the oral cavity:

  • Benign Growths
    These are not cancer – they do no spread to other parts of the body or invade other tissues

  • Pre-Cancerous Conditions
    Harmless growths that can turn into cancer overtime

  • Cancer
    These are growths that can spread to other parts of the body and grow into other tissues

While anyone is at risk for oral cancer, there are a few factors that can put individuals at a higher risk. 80% of oral cancer is linked to tobacco use – including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff. The best way to eliminate this risk is to cut out the use of tobacco products completely.

Poor nutrition and oral hygiene practices also can put an individual at a higher risk for oral cancer. Diet wise, be sure to include an ample amount of fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet. Additionally, practicing simple oral health habits such as proper brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings will reduce your risk of oral cancer.

A few other factors are gender, age, and exposure to UV light.

How to Diagnose

Early signs of oral cancer can seem like typical problems – such as a toothache or cold. If symptoms persist for several weeks or months, it is important to see your doctor so that, if oral cancer is present, it may be diagnosed as soon as possible

  • Some of the most common oral cancer symptoms and signs include:

  • Persistent mouth sore that does not heal 

  • Persistent mouth pain

  • A lump or thickening in the cheek

  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth

  • A sore throat or persistent feeling that something is caught in the throat

  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing

  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth

  • Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly

  • Loosening of the teeth

  • Pain in the teeth or jaw

  • Voice changes

  • A lump in the neck

  • Weight loss

  • Persistent bad breath

If any of these symptoms appear or persist for weeks, your doctor may recommend tests to check for oral cancer. Here at Sharma Oral Surgery – we examine each patient and take a biopsy, if necessary, so we can treat the problem correctly and effectively.

Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns, 704-541-6070.