10 Feb Our top recommended vitamins for gums & tooth health
Written by Emily Smith — Oral Health Therapist.
We all know a varied diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, lean protein and whole grains are essential for a healthy body. However, many people forget that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body and can often be a marker for dietary deficiencies.
In the same way, what we put into our bodies can impact the health of our teeth and gums. So what are the vitamins and minerals needed to improve and maintain healthy teeth and gums?
Below we have listed some of the most important vitamins for gum health, designed to keep you smile healthy and bright!
Vitamins for teeth & gums: Calcium
Calcium is found in dairy foods and canned fish with bones such as salmon and sardines. Leafy greens, nuts and seeds are also recommended, including almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and brazil nuts.
Calcium is one of the building blocks of tooth enamel and essential for keeping them strong and resistant to tooth decay.
It is also an important part of bone health and, therefore, helps support the teeth in the jawbone.
Vitamins for teeth & gums: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for ensuring the production and maintenance of collagen in the body, including gum tissues.
It also acts as an antioxidant and can boost the immune system, improving wound healing and, in turn, can help reduce the severity of gum disease.
Historically, sailors were affected by scurvy (presenting as bleeding gums and tooth mobility) caused by a vitamin C deficiency. It is far less common now to see scurvy, as the essential vitamins can be found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, including citrus, strawberries, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts), white potatoes, capsicums and tomatoes.
It is also essential in aiding the uptake of iron within the body.
Vitamins for teeth & gums: Phosphorus
Phosphorus is needed to aid calcium uptake and helps rebuild tooth enamel. It works in conjunction with calcium in tooth formation before birth and continues to maintain bone and tooth health throughout life. It can be found in meat, milk, eggs, fish, and foods.
Vitamins for teeth & gums: Vitamin D
Vitamin D works as a catalyst for calcium and phosphorous uptake into the bones. It is also needed for tooth development, and a deficiency has been associated with enamel defects in children, gum inflammation and gum disease.
Our bodies can make Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight (be careful to follow sun-safe practices) and foods such as oily fish, salmon and herring, mushrooms and egg yolks. Some foods are vitamin D fortified (such as some cereals, juices and milks).
Vitamins for teeth & gums: Vitamin A
Vitamin A has antioxidant properties that improve the health of the tooth-supporting structures (gums, periodontal ligament and bone),which helps in the development and maintenance of the lining of the oral cavity, enamel and dentin.
It can help reduce the severity and progression of gum disease. Vitamin A can be found in orange foods, such as carrots, sweet potato, beef and lamb liver, oily fish (salmon, mackerel), and leafy greens (kale, collards, spinach).
How do you get all the vitamins for gums and teeth?
You might be wondering if you need to take a supplement to get all these nutrients. In short, the answer is: if you are eating a healthy and varied diet in accordance with the healthy eating guidelines, then it is unlikely you will need to use supplements and vitamins for gum health .
If you think you might need some extra help to get these nutrients, talk to your GP before starting any supplements or vitamins for teeth and gums .
If you would like more information about these vitamins or minerals for your dental health, feel free to have a chat with your our dentists, oral health therapists or dental hygienists. We’re here to help.