The food we eat doesn’t only help our body grow but also affects our dental health. Nutrition and diet impact oral health and thus may affect the development and growth of your teeth. That being said, bad nutrition may be why you suffer from persistent oral diseases. Unfortunately, few people know about the impact nutrients and vitamins have on dental health so we will talk about that in this article.
Various studies have been done, including case-control studies and clinical trials, to find the risks of nutritional deficiencies on oral health among children and adults. Lacking vitamins and minerals essential for bone and dental growth may lead to growing of weak teeth, which chip and crack when subjected to pressure when eating or biting solid food.
Minerals such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium are just a few examples of minerals which, if deficient in a patient’s body, may lead to the growth of weak teeth. We will talk about these minerals in detail as we continue.
Everyone has heard of this mineral and how it’s essential in promoting the growth of strong, healthy bones. Do you also know calcium is just as important to developing strong, healthy teeth? The mineral helps harden the tooth enamel and jawbone, allowing your teeth to handle lots of chewing pressure without cracking. Calcium can also remineralize your teeth, making them less susceptible to cavities.
Although calcium plays the biggest role in dental health, other minerals and vitamins are still vital to optimum oral health. Below are a few examples:
Vitamin D is important as it helps your immune system function properly and more effectively. It helps in the absorption of calcium to the body, which allows the body to fight oral diseases more efficiently. Lack of sufficient vitamin D in the body can cause an autoimmune response whereby your body’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells, making you vulnerable to infection. Some studies have also found evidence that gum disease is related to vitamin D deficiency. There are also some findings linking vitamin D deficiency to the development of childhood allergies. General Dentistry in Manteca, CA, recommends taking supplements or food rich in vitamin D to strengthen your immune system against oral and health problems.
Potassium works in combination with magnesium to improve bone density and prevent acidity in the blood. Acidity in the blood can lead to calcium reduction in the teeth and low bone density. This can cause weakening of the jawbone, which plays a big role in supporting tooth structures. Ensure you regularly eat food rich in potassium to avoid potassium deficiency.
Phosphorus is essential for healthy teeth as it supports calcium absorption, which is crucial to building strong, healthy teeth. The mineral is abundant in common foods that are inexpensive to purchase or prepare at home.
Vitamin K functions as a shield, protecting your teeth from substances that can damage the bone. It also helps in the production of osteocalcin, a protein that promotes the development of strong bones. Lack of sufficient vitamin K in the body can slow down your body’s ability to heal and may cause your body to bleed easily when wounded.
Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and strengthens gum and other mouth soft tissues. It protects teeth and gums from oral problems such as gingivitis. Lack of vitamin C may leave you susceptible to cavities, gingivitis, bleeding gums and infection.
Our body utilizes iron to strengthen teeth, nails, skin and hair. Oral symptoms of iron deficiency (anemia) include the formation of aphthous ulcers, reduced taste buds, dry mouth, burning tongue and oral infections. Your dentist can diagnose iron deficiency through the symptoms we listed above. It’s therefore important to see a dentist near you for regular mouth cleaning and exams.
Vitamin A improves your body’s ability to heal, especially when suffering from mouth sores and other wounds. It also helps keep the mucous membrane healthy and prevents dry mouth. Taking food rich in vitamin A will boost your immune system and vision.
Iodine is essential to the growth of your body’s oral immune response. Having insufficient iodine in the body can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth leads to reduced saliva flow in the mouth, making you more susceptible to cavities and gum disease. Body fatigue and weakness are common indications of iodine deficiency; visit a Manteca dental office if you have the symptoms.
Calcium: cheese, salmon, yogurt and broccoli
Vitamin D: exposure to sunlight (10-15 minutes), fatty fish, cod-liver oil, canned tuna, egg yolks and organ meats
Potassium: banana, sweet potatoes, beef liver and avocadoes
Phosphorus: sardines, tuna, shrimp, salmon, beef, cheese, scallops and pumpkin seeds
Vitamin K: butter, beef liver, broccoli, collards and spinach
Vitamin C: leafy greens, eggs, fish roe, raw liver and citrus fruits
Vitamin A: liver, leafy green vegetables, egg yolk and liver
Iron: red meat, oysters, canned sardines, red meat, liver (avoid during pregnancy), and green leafy vegetables
Iodine: yogurt, seaweed, cod and Himalayan rock salt
Diet and nutrition are essential to optimum oral health. Even if you brush your teeth daily, not following proper nutrition may leave you susceptible to dental problems. Ensure you get sufficient amounts of the minerals and vitamins we listed to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Also, remember to visit Valley View Dental – Manteca for regular dental checkups and cleanings.