A healthy mouth and strong teeth can result from a combination of good oral hygiene and a well balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Just as our bodies need good nutrition and nutrients to promote overall health, the same applies to our mouth and teeth.
Are vitamins or minerals important to my dental health?
There are certain vitamins and minerals that can have a positive impact on our oral health. What we consume through foods or supplements contributes to how healthy our teeth, mouth and gums are. Certain vitamins and minerals have can help reduce mouth sores, tooth decay and gum disease. Consuming a nutrient-rich diet can also help with fighting off infections and bacteria. This is especially helpful if you are recovering from surgery, including oral surgery.
Consuming the right amount and type of vitamins and minerals should be considered at a young age – as early as when teeth are developing in a child. As teeth develop and grow, vitamins and minerals can influence how they develop. Developing healthy teeth and gums creates a foundation for strong adult teeth. Once all teeth have developed, vitamins and minerals help to maintain the health of our mouth and teeth.
Below are important vitamins and minerals that benefit your mouth and teeth:
Vitamin A helps with the development of healthy teeth and gums and maintaining healthy gums. Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, an antioxident that helps to rid the body of free radicals. Free radicals damage cells through oxidation.
Vitamin B Complex
The B complex is made up of 8 different vitamins. B1 – Thiamine, B2 – Riboflavin, B3 – Niacin, B6 – Pyridoxine, B9 – Folic acid, B12 – Cyanocobalamin and pantothenic acid and biotin. Vitamin B complex can help prevent irritation of the inside and outside of the mouth. These vitamins are helpful in preventing cracked lips, inflammation of the tongue and irritation inside the mouth and gums. The vitamin B complex also helps against gum disease.
Vitamin C when taken internally can help strengthen teeth. It is recommended that a vitamin C supplement should avoid contact with teeth as it can damage tooth enamel. Vitamin C maintains healthy connective tissues and helps keep gums and and teeth healthy as well as can speed up the recovery from oral surgery. As this vitamin is water-soluble and not stored in our bodies it is recommended to take in vitamin C daily.
Vitamin D helps absorb calcium into our bones and teeth which helps to strengthen them. Vitamin D also helps teeth mineralize and prevent periodontal disease.
Our teeth and jaw are made up mostly of calcium. Calcium helps to keep teeth and the jaw bone healthy and strong. Consuming enough calcium is essential in the healthy development of teeth and bones as well as is an important mineral to maintain good healthy mouth.
Magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium. It also assists with activating many of the B vitamins. Magnesium makes teeth harder, helps to build strong enamel for your teeth and helps prevent the formation of cavities.
Zinc helps to control plaque, reduce halitosis and inhibit the formation of tartar along the gum line.
Iron helps to prevent mouth sores and tongue inflammation. It transports oxygen throughout the body which helps prevents infections and build up of bacteria in the mouth.
Eating a nutrient-rich diet made up of whole foods is a healthy way to consume vitamins and minerals that will benefit your mouth and teeth. If you feel that your diet is not providing enough vitamins and minerals then supplementation can also be considered.