Foods that Help Heal the Gums
Sore and bleeding gums may be an early indication of periodontal disease and should be taken care of right away. A visit to your dentist is the first step. Adding certain foods to your diet also can help speed the healing process and improve the health of your gums. Continuing to eat these foods after your gums heal may help prevent future mouth problems as well.
You may experience bleeding or sore gums if your body is deficient in vitamin C. This vitamin helps encourage healing and maintenance of healthy tissue, so if you do not consume enough of it on a daily basis, your gums can become inflamed and begin to bleed. Oranges are a top source of vitamin C and adding one a day will help provide enough of this essential vitamin to heal your gums. Other sources of vitamin C include grapefruits, lemons, limes, strawberries, broccoli and red bell peppers.
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Apricots are a good source of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. A deficiency in vitamin A can contribute to bleeding, sore and swollen gums, because your body needs this vitamin to maintain healthy tissue. Theresa Roberts, author of "ABC's of Bumps & Bruises, a Guide to Home & Herbal Remedies for Children," notes that adding vitamin A to your diet can help encourage your gums to begin healing and help prevent future gum problems. Add fresh apricots to a fruit salad or top oatmeal or breakfast cereal with dried apricots. Other sources of beta-carotene include carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes.
- Apricots are a good source of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A.
- A deficiency in vitamin A can contribute to bleeding, sore and swollen gums, because your body needs this vitamin to maintain healthy tissue.
Cucumbers are a good source of many vitamins and minerals but they can also correct the acid imbalance in your mouth that often leads to bleeding and painful gums, notes Mary C. Hogle, author of "Foods That Alkalinize and Heal." Cucumber juice works to help absorb the acid in your mouth, so your gums can begin to heal. Add some cucumber slices to a salad or mix some chopped cucumber with onions and tomatoes to create a healthy salsa for chips or as an accompaniment to cooked chicken. The juices of several other vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, celery, cabbage and carrots, have similar healing properties, adds Hogle.
- Cucumbers are a good source of many vitamins and minerals but they can also correct the acid imbalance in your mouth that often leads to bleeding and painful gums, notes Mary C. Hogle, author of "Foods That Alkalinize and Heal."
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- "Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal: An A to Z Guide to Safe and Healthy Eating"; Reader's Digest; 1997
- "ABC's of Bumps & Bruises, a Guide to Home & Herbal Remedies for Children"; Theresa Roberts; 2008
- "Foods That Alkalinize and Heal"; Mary C. Hogle; 1993
- American Academy of Periodontology. CDC: Half of American Adults Have Periodontal Disease. 2012.
- Dhadse P, Gattani D, Mishra R. The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: How far we have come in last two decades? J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2010;14(3):148-154. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.75908
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Periodontal (Gum) Disease. 2018.
- Preshaw PM, Alba AL, Herrera D, et al. Periodontitis and diabetes: a two-way relationship. Diabetologia. 2012;55(1):21-31. doi:10.1007/s00125-011-2342-y
- Eke PI, Dye B, Wei L, Thornton-Evans G, Genco R. Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res. 2012:1–7.
- Periodontal Disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015.
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.