Updated: 04/12/2022 – 18:55
Pastries, sodas and white bread are harmful to oral health
Processed foods high in carbohydrates, such as spritz cakes and other baked goods, can negatively impact the oral health of postmenopausal women.
What we eat affects the microbiome, the bacterial community, in our mouth. Certain bacteria that populate the mouth can promote the development of tooth decay and periodontitis. This includes highly processed foods high in carbohydrates. A recent study with women after menopause shows that the consumption of ready meals, baked goods and the like promotes the formation of harmful bacteria in the mouth and thus weakens oral health.
Oral health: carbohydrates encourage bacteria that cause tooth decay
High glycemic index foods, such as baked goods, sugary sodas, white bread, and yogurt, create a bacterial community in the mouths of postmenopausal women that contributes to tooth decay and even cardiovascular disease.
Scientists were able to draw links between the amount of carbohydrates, glycemic load and table sugar and the bacterial species Streptococcus mutans – a known carious pathogen that also promotes cardiovascular disease – as reported by aponet.de. Leptotrichia, a type of bacteria that can be observed with high sugar consumption, was also detected. These bacteria are associated with gingivitis. Additionally, the research team describes other types of bacteria in their study that were previously unknown in relation to carbohydrate consumption.
Additionally, the study also looked at the link between carbohydrate intake and plaque in periodontal pockets. “This is important because the bacteria involved in periodontitis are mostly found under the gums. If we look at salivary bacteria, we cannot say conclusively how oral bacteria are related to periodontitis because we are not looking into the good environment in the mouth,” says study author Amy Millen of the University at Buffalo.
Periodontitis can have serious health consequences
The bacteria that cause periodontitis can enter the bloodstream through the mouth and therefore into other parts of the body. As a result, they can promote the development of other diseases. Untreated periodontitis is considered a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and type 2 diabetes.
Periodontitis always begins with deposits (plaque) on the surfaces of the teeth and in the spaces between the teeth. Bacteria build up in plaque, which can cause inflammation. If the deposits are not sufficiently removed – for example by brushing the teeth – they harden over time and tartar is formed.
If gingivitis then develops and is not treated, it is possible that it will progress further into the jaw area. Gingivitis then becomes periodontitis. The fibers and bones that anchor the tooth are destroyed. So-called periodontal pockets develop, cavities between the root of the tooth and the gums, which in turn are colonized by bacteria. The gum recedes, there is eventually further bone loss and the tooth loses its support. If nothing is done, the tooth threatens to fall out.
Sources: aponet.de, dgparo.de
Healthy teeth and gums are important. If you heed these tips, you will do a lot of good for your oral health: