Is There A Link Between Oral Health and Food Digestion?

Is There A Link Between Oral Health and Food Digestion?

Strong mouth functioning and a healthy smile are two hallmarks of quality oral health. What is equally important is food digestion. Yes, how well you digest your food has an impact on oral health.

The link between oral health and food digestion stems from how clean your mouth is after you’ve eaten a meal. Food digestion doesn’t start from the moment food hits your stomach. It begins when the food enters the mouth. Chewing your food isn’t enough for strong digestion. What is equally important is that your mouth stays clean shortly after you’ve eaten.

There is a key element that helps to achieve this: Saliva.

Saliva is water secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, including the tongue and teeth and, you guessed it, helps to digest your food. When humans sense and taste food, saliva begins to increase, and moist saliva plays a vital role in reducing problems with oral health.

Here’s how:

Prevents Dental Plaque Build-Up

Without saliva, food debris will remain stuck in the mouth and in-between teeth. Just like drinking water, it digests food and removes debris from your mouth and into your stomach. The lack of saliva will cause dental plaque to form. Dental plaque is a pale, sticky substance that contains bacteria. This can progressively get worse and damage your enamel if your digestive health isn’t strong enough.

Break Down Food With Your Teeth

The process of digestion fully begins in the mouth, where your teeth bite down on food so your enamel can absorb the nutrients and process it. What you eat is equally important to this, because if your diet comprises high volumes of sugar, it will wear down your enamel and cause bacteria to form around your teeth. If the food you eat contains calcium and phosphate, your enamel will remain strong.

Along with this, how you chew your food is important as the food you eat. Chewing properly can ensure food is digested easier. For this to happen, what is equally important is a strong bite so that the upper and lower teeth bite down together smoothly.

Stronger Enamel

As mentioned before, a strong enamel is essential for a stronger smile. Choosing meals that contain the right nutrients for a stronger smile is definitely worth it. This is a process known as remineralization, where the enamel absorbs calcium and phosphate to strengthen its protection from bacteria and infection. Sugar work the polar opposite. It weakens the enamel and increases the danger of bacteria and disease.

How You Can Keep Your Oral Health and Food Digestion Strong

The next time you eat, think about the meals that you choose. What is equally important is your oral routine. Your oral routine needs to be strong such as brushing and flossing your teeth, regularly drinking water throughout the day and absorbing the right nutrients.

Here are some further tips to help you choose the right foods:

  • Remove processed foods as these contain artificial preservatives that can damage your teeth
  • Ditch the sugar, including refind sugar, added sugar, syrup and fructose
  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium such as leafy-green vegetables and fish
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and sugary drinks

If you’re seeking support with your oral health and food digestion, our dentists can help! Contact us at Wollongong Dental today.

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