Foods To Avoid For Healthy Gums

Gum disease is surprisingly common, with 90% of adults in the Uk estimated to have it. However, it can be prevented with a good oral hygiene routine and healthy diet. It would also help to avoid certain foods that affect the health of your gums.

Fizzy Drinks

You most likely already knew that sugary fizzy drinks are bad for your teeth, but did you know that even the diet drinks are harmful. This is because they contain acid which causes your enamel to become weakened and damaging your gums.


Unfortunately, tomatoes are very acidic which can weaken the structure of your teeth. Whilst tomatoes are healthy in many respects, they can be damaging to your gums if eaten regularly. When you do eat tomatoes, try to pair them with an acid neutralising food, such as cheese, nuts, lentils or tuna.


Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are high in natural sugars as well as being acidic which can erode your enamel and gums. There are other ways of obtaining vitamin C, such as eating vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and peas, or low acid fruits including honeydew melon and kiwi.


Have you ever eaten popcorn and then noticed that part of a kernel had become stuck between your teeth? This can then cause some difficulty in being removed. This could promote bacterial growth and even a gum abscess. Next time you go to the cinema, try a different snack that is less harmful to your gums.

Foods That Your Gums Will Love

After reading about all the foods you should avoid, here are the foods that are beneficial for your gums.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help to protect healthy tissue in your mouth.

Eating an apple can take some time, and that is a good thing for your mouth. It spurs a cleansing action that shakes up the plaque that sticks to gums and teeth.

A raw onion is a bacteria fighting food. Onions have an antimicrobial ingredient that kills bacteria, which can help to prevent gum disease.

What Is Gum Disease And How Does It Affect Me?

Gum disease is swelling of the gums and the structures that support your teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis.


Gingivitis is the swelling and redness of the part of your gum at the base of your teeth. Symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush, swollen gums, bad breath and receding gums.


Periodontitis can develop if gingivitis progresses without intervention. It damages the soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports your teeth, resulting it tooth loss. Periodontitis is irreversible once it has resulted in bone loss so it is important that good oral hygiene is maintained to reduce the risk.

What Causes Gum Disease

Plaque forms on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that forms over the surface of your teeth composed mainly of bacteria. Plaque that isn’t removed through daily brushing remains on your teeth and hardens into tartar (calculus), which collects bacteria. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and causes irritation along the gum line. You will need to visit your dentist to remove the tartar. The plaque and tartar irritate your gum line, causing inflammation and bleeding. This is gingivitis, and if not treated, will progress into periodontitis which causes bone loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, spit after brushing, do not rinse.
  • Clean in between your teeth everyday using floss or interdental brushes.
  • See a dentist and dental hygienist for regular appointments.

If you require any further information or you would like to book a check-up with us to check for any symptoms of gum disease please call us on 01723 670500 or email us at

Dry Mouth. Is it affecting you?

We can help. Talk to us if you’re struggling with dry mouth.

What is dry mouth?

Your mouth needs saliva to be able to work properly. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, and it helps to break down your food and helps you to swallow. It also acts as a cleanser. It is constantly washing around your mouth and teeth, fighting tooth decay and helping to keep your teeth clean. Dry mouth or ‘xerostomia’ is a condition which affects the flow of saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry.

How can I tell I have dry mouth?

There are several symptoms to look out for. The most obvious one is, of course, a dry mouth. Some people feel that their saliva has become thick and sticky, making it difficult to speak or swallow. Some people also have a ‘prickly’ or burning sensation in their mouth and become sensitive to certain foods. The mouth can become sore and there is a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In some cases, the mouth can also become red and shiny. If you have any of these symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have dry mouth. But it may be best to talk to your dental team or doctor about it.

What can cause dry mouth?

Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different problems and can happen as you get older. Quite often it is a side effect of medication – especially heart, blood pressure and depression tablets. Your doctor, pharmacist or dental team should be able to tell you whether your medication can cause problems. Dry mouth can also be caused by medical treatments such as radiotherapy, or surgery to the head or neck.

In some cases, dry mouth can be a direct result of a medical condition (for example diabetes, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and blocked salivary glands).

Are women more likely to get dry mouth?

Women who are going through the menopause (often called ‘the change’ or ‘the change of life’) may suffer from dry mouth. Women who have had their menopause and are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may also find they suffer from dry mouth. If you are taking medication and have any of the symptoms of dry mouth, talk to your doctor to see whether it could be changed.

Can I prevent dry mouth?

Unfortunately there seems to be no way of actually preventing the problem, although there are products to ease the symptoms.

What problems can it cause?

Saliva helps to cancel out the acid that attacks your teeth, and is a very important part of your dental health. Saliva helps to break down food while you are chewing, allowing you to swallow more easily. Some people find that they have problems with swallowing when their saliva flow is affected.

Saliva is also very important in fighting tooth decay. It helps to fight the bacteria that form dental plaque and cause tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is the thin, sticky film that keeps forming on your teeth.

Having less saliva can also affect the taste of food and makes it harder to eat drier foods. Sometimes it can affect your speech and it makes people more likely to have bad breath.

What products are there to help with dry mouth?

There are a number of products designed to help your mouth stay moist and comfortable. These are usually gels or sprays. Some have extra ingredients which may help prevent tooth and gum problems. There are also special products to help with your day-to-day oral hygiene (for example toothpastes and mouth rinses).

How often should I visit my dentist if I have dry mouth?

You have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease with dry mouth, and these can get worse more quickly than usual. So it is important to visit your dental team regularly. Your dental team will tell you how often you should visit.

What can I do to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth?

There are different ways of relieving the symptoms of dry mouth. Some people find that sipping water, or sucking sugar-free sweets, helps in the short term. It is very important to use sugar-free products, as dry mouth can make you more likely to have tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help as it encourages your mouth to make saliva. Your dental team might recommend products such as rinses, gels, pastes and lozenges which you can get from the pharmacist.

What toothpaste should I use?

It is important to use a fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1350 to 1500ppm (parts per million) of fluoride. A ‘total care’ toothpaste may be best as these contain antibacterial agents and other ingredients to control the build-up of plaque.

Some products contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), and some people with dry mouth find this can irritate the mouth and make the condition worse.

What can my dental team do to help prevent the problems caused by dry mouth?

We can’t always help with the cause of dry mouth. But by helping you keep your mouth clean and by using fluoride we can, in many cases, help to delay the start of tooth decay. We will be able to give you advice about your diet and tell you how to care for your teeth and gums properly

Why not talk to Beth, our Oral Health Educator. See how she can help you.