Four high protein foods and drink for tip top oral health – experts

Gum disease: Dentist explains how you can prevent it

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Everyone knows that cutting back on sugary drinks and foods is vital for preserving your oral health. There are other dietary decisions that can help too, including making sure you eat enough protein. According to experts, people who consume little of the nutrient suffer for it.

Specifically, protein that comes from animals is known to contain several nutrients that support healthy teeth and gums.

Milk, cheese and lean meats like chicken are especially good sources, according to experts.

A new review, looking at many different oral health studies, published in the journal Nutrients concluded that “protein-energy malnutrition” could be linked to poor oral prospects, including cavities, thinning of enamel, and the shrinking of your salivary glands.

When salivary glands aren’t working as well as they should be, your mouth is at higher risk of infections.

And worn enamel also leaves your teeth vulnerable to cavities and decay. Enamel is the thin protective layer on your teeth.

US dental experts at Doctor Kindt explained the value of animal protein: “Animal proteins play a vital role in keeping your teeth and jawbone strong and healthy.”

“This is because animal proteins contain phosphorus. Phosphorus strengthens the teeth and jaw muscles by binding to the enamel of your teeth.

“Since enamel can’t be regrown, the best way to protect it from wear is to strengthen it as much as possible, and phosphorus can help with that.”

So, what are the best animal proteins for your oral health? Studies suggest that milk should be your port of call.

The review from the journal Nutrients stated: “There is an inverse association between the consumption of milk and dairy foods and the prevalence of periodontitis in the adult population.”

Periodontitis is a condition caused by inflammation and the destruction of bone tissue surrounding the teeth. It’s one of the main causes of tooth loss.

The “exact mechanism” for the benefits is not entirely clear yet, suggested the authors of the review.

But researchers believe the lactic acid in fermented dairy products “inhibits the growth” of oral bacteria by “decreasing oral pH”.

Oral pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline your mouth is. The more acidic, the lower the pH number.

However, it’s worth remembering that too much acid in your mouth over time can lead to the development of cavities.


The College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois Chicago explained on their website: “Cheese is one of the best foods for healthy teeth for a number of reasons.

“First, it is low in sugar and high in calcium. It contains casein, which is a protein that is particularly useful for fortifying tooth enamel.

“Cheese is high in calcium, which is important for maintaining bone density. Cheese is also high in phosphate content, which helps balance pH levels in the mouth, which helps to preserve tooth enamel.”


Lean poultry is another source of phosphorus and calcium.

If you’re a vegetarian don’t be too alarmed though. Green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are also good sources of calcium.

Red Meat

According to the University of Illinois, Chicago, meat can also be beneficial because of the chewing required to eat it, which triggers saliva to be produced.

“More saliva is good, because it decreases acidity in your mouth and washes away particles of food that lead to decay. Red meat and even organ meats are especially beneficial.”

It’s important to remember that there are plenty of other nutrients that play a vital role in our oral and overall health. Protein should generally be consumed as part of a balanced, healthy diet.

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