There are a lot of reasons you should include more fruits and veggies in your diet. Things like fiber and vitamins found in fruit can aid your body in a few different ways. In fact, new studies suggest blueberries can make a huge difference for oral health. This isn’t surprising when you consider how a nutrient-dense diet can have an effect on the health of your teeth and gums. Typically those with poor health can also be the same individuals that eat a high amount of refined carbs and sugar. All this sugar in a diet will eat away at teeth and cause serious oral health problems like gum disease or tooth loss. Of course, tooth loss can be easily treated with a natural-looking and long-lasting solution like dental implants. But regardless if your smile is all natural teeth or dental implants, your consumption of teeth-friendly food will make an impact. Dr. Mortensen of Fountain Valley, CA explains how researchers are using blueberries for new ways to prevent the formation of plaque.
Plaque Formation and Blueberry Extract
Gum disease is an extremely common issue for many people out there. Nearly half of American adults over the age of 30 have a degree of periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Signs of gum disease can be red and swollen gums, bleeding gums, chronic bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a huge factor in poor oral health. Before periodontitis, you’ll notice gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis. After it’s left untreated, it progresses into periodontitis when the gum and bone will start to pull away from the teeth to form pockets. These pockets make it easy for more bacteria and plaque to collect. Eventually, the jawbone and tissue holding teeth in place will begin to break down, making tooth loss imminent.
So, how does any of this relate to using blueberries?
Researchers have begun to look into using natural antibacterial compounds to battle gum disease. They paid special notice to blueberry polyphenols because they are known to protect plants again diseases. The study took wild lowbush blueberry extracts, Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. to see what its effects would be on a bacterium, that plays a role in gum disease. The study showed that it had successfully stopped the bacterium from growing and forming biofilms. This is important because biofilms are a matrix of substances that bacteria produce and embed themselves in. Stopping bacteria from forming into plaque will also stop the progression of gum disease. Researchers also found that blueberries had an effect on inflammation. Researchers saw that the polyphenol-rich extract blocked a pathway involved in inflammation. They are now working on a device to release the blueberry extract in the mouth after a deep cleaning.
Other Perks of Blueberries
The properties of blueberries are beneficial for oral health and can also be important for the overall body. This is important because overall health is connected to your oral health as well. That’s why research continues to connect gum disease with other serious ailments of the body like heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some of the ways blueberries benefit your overall health:
- Blueberries are full of antioxidants: Many believe that blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity of other fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help protect our bodies from damage caused by free radicals, the harmful byproduct our body makes from turning food into energy.
- Protect Cholesterol in the Blood: The antioxidants in blueberries are also beneficial because it will reduce the level of oxidized low-density lipoproteins, which is the first step to the heart disease process.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Blueberries have been shown to benefit individuals dealing with high blood pressure. A study showed that obese individuals showed a 4-6 % decrease in blood pressure after consuming 50 grams of blueberries each day.
- Maintain Brain Function: The brain’s aging process can be accelerated by oxidative stress. Antioxidants in blueberries improve cell signaling by interacting with aging neurons. A study that looked at more than 16,000 elderly participants over a six-year period found that blueberry consumption can delay cognitive aging up to 2.5 years.
- Anti-Diabetic Effects: Insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism can improve from the anthocyanins in blueberries. A study looked at 32 obese subjects with insulin sensitivity and they found that consumption of a blueberry smoothie improved sensitivity.
Contact our Office
It’s not a stretch to refer to blueberries as a superfood. It is extremely beneficial for our oral health with the new use of blueberry extract to inhibit the formation of plaque as well as our overall health with multiple perks. If your oral health needs more help because of serious health issues like tooth loss, contact our office. We can restore your smile with beautiful, natural-looking dental implants that will last for years to come. Your dental implants will look and feel just like natural teeth. To start your dental implant process, contact our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.