Gum disease is a common condition that occurs when your gums become infected, sore or inflamed. The good news is, it can typically be prevented by good oral hygiene. Yet while brushing, flossing and rinsing are all crucial to banishing plaque and controlling infection, there are other things we can do to keep our gums healthy. Limiting the amount of sugary and acidic foods you eat, for example, can help reduce plaque buildup and greatly improve your overall oral health. And if you want to know how to protect your gums in particular, here are five foods we recommend striking from your diet.


Tomatoes deliver a variety of general health benefits. Unfortunately, this tasty fruit is highly acidic, which means it’s not great for your dental health. Regularly eating acidic foods can wear away tooth enamel and dentine, leaving them exposed, sensitive and vulnerable to bacteria and decay.

Citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes

Citrus fruits are similarly highly acidic and liable to erode teeth and gums. In addition, these foods are high in sugar (albeit natural fruit sugar). This can encourage bacteria growth and, consequently, may contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis.


This popular snack is notorious for getting into every nook and cranny in your mouth. Without careful brushing and flossing, popcorn pieces can become a breeding ground for bacteria. And if a husk becomes entrenched between your gum and tooth, over time it may even lead to a gum abscess. So the next time you have the movie munchies, protect your gums and give the popcorn a miss.

Ice cream

If you have gum disease or receding gums, your nerves may be sensitized with the roots being exposed. In such cases, consuming sweet, hot or cold foods and beverages often cause a lot of pain. Aside from potentially triggering sensitivity and discomfort, ice cream is also packed with sugars, which can cause harmful plaque and germs to grow around your gums.


Starchy, white bread is another food that presents a dual threat to your gums. First, the carbs in bread rapidly convert to sugar when you chew, and sugar is detrimental to both tooth and gum health. Second, when bread mixes with saliva, it becomes gummy and forms a paste, which sticks around your gums and may get caught in between your teeth: a recipe for tooth and gum inflammation.

Find out more about how to protect your gums

At Holistic Dental Donvale, we specialise in treating the whole you, rather than exclusively focusing on symptoms of gum or dental disease. So whether you need gum disease treatment or another dental service, we’ll plan a personalised course of action that not only improves your oral health but also supports your general health and wellbeing. To book a free consultation with one of our holistic dentists or find out more, give us a call on 03 9842 6675.

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