The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Eating can be a real pain when gums are sore. Your gum soreness may be linked to an infection, gum disease or another short-term or chronic health condition, and choosing the right foods can not only make eating more comfortable, but even help your gums heal faster. Here are some of the best foods to eat when your gums are sore.

Soft Foods


Hard and crunchy foods can further aggravate sore gums, and choosing foods that are soft will likely make eating easier until your gum pain subsides. Gum tissue is very delicate when it is infected or damaged, and eating foods that further scratch or irritate it can make healing take much longer than necessary. Vegetable soups are gentle on gums and contain vitamins and minerals that can promote healing. Yogurt and cottage cheese are other soft foods that will be easier on the gums and have healthy bacteria that may be able to help prevent the settling of bad bacteria on your gums. Bananas and avocados are also soft and have healthy fats that can help with healing, making them great for sore gums, as well.

Sugarless Foods


Sugar-free is the way to go when your gums are sore. Bacteria that can cause further harm and irritation to the gums are able to thrive more when exposed to high levels of sugar. Sodas and fruit juices should be avoided, at the very least until your gums have healed, to prevent feeding this bacteria. While sugar is essential for providing energy to your body, you’ll want to get your sugar from starches and other natural sources where your digestive tract will extract the sugar, rather than allowing the bare sugars to rest against your gums. Xylitol has also been long promoted by dentists and oral health specialists as being an excellent sugar-free sweetener that can actually help disinfect your mouth at the same time. Xylitol gum and mints, therefore, can actually help with killing the infection in your mouth, though it is no substitute for a professional dental exam. If your gums have been sore for more than a week, you need to be seen by a dentist so that you can be prescribed the correct antibiotics to kill the infection before it becomes worse.

Leafy Greens


Romaine lettuce, spinach and kale are just a few examples of leafy green vegetables containing vitamins that are good for the gums. The iron and vitamin B-12 in these vegetables can aid red blood cells and help strengthen the gums and other tissues throughout the body. A deficiency in essential B vitamins has been known to cause mouth sores and gum sensitivity, so even just taking a Vitamin B-12 supplement may be able to help combat the inflammation at the cause. Vitamin A found in dark leafy greens can facilitate cell division and help combat diseases such as gum disease. These vitamins are also incredibly beneficial for your immune health, making it easier for your body to combat the infection that may be causing the inflammation and sensitivity in your gums. Many of these vegetables are also high in vitamin C, which can help repair and strengthen gum tissue.

Honey


Honey contains antibiotic properties that can inhibit the bacterial growth that often affects the gums. The smooth consistency of honey also makes it easy to eat when gums are sore, and is a great natural sweetener to add to healing teas and other drinks. Manuka honey is one of the best types of honey to consume if you have gum disease, as it has been shown to have unique and powerful healing properties. However, as true Manuka honey is incredibly expensive, any local raw and unfiltered honey can be substituted for similar healing effects. Applying honey directly to the gums might help treat bleeding and gingivitis. Despite the high sugar content of honey, this also helps to kill the sugar-feeding bacteria that can cause gum sensitivity.
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