Anything we eat is broken down by our digestive system into nutrients that are absorbed into the body and used for different purposes. As a result, the types of foods we eat can have various effects on both our overall and oral health. When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy, there are certain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial. Here’s how certain vitamins and minerals affect your teeth:
Although vitamin A does not affect your teeth directly, it helps to prevent dry mouth and support soft tissue health. Preventing dry mouth decreases your risk of tooth decay and supporting soft tissue health helps to prevent the loss of your teeth due to gum disease. Vitamin A is found in foods such as fish, egg yolks, liver, orange-colored fruits, and leafy greens.
Calcium works with phosphorus to strengthen both the jawbone and tooth enamel. In fact, calcium and phosphorus are both components that make up tooth enamel. Calcium helps to decrease the risk of tooth decay, while also keeping your teeth rooted firmly in the socket. Calcium is found primarily in dairy products, but it can also be obtained from eating broccoli and salmon.
Vitamin C is good for your teeth because it keeps them firmly rooted in place by preventing gum disease and promoting soft tissue health. Similar to vitamin A, vitamin C keeps your gums firmly attached to your teeth. It can also decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth by preventing gum disease. The best source of vitamin C is citrus fruits, although it can also be found in potatoes and leafy greens.
Phosphorus works with calcium to keep the jawbone and enamel strong. In fact, phosphorus is a key component of tooth enamel and the majority of the body’s phosphorus resides inside the teeth. Out of all the minerals in the human body, phosphorus is the most abundant. Foods containing phosphorus include: cheese, beef, soybeans, pork, seafood, and lentils.
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream and directly affects how much calcium your body can absorb. If there is not an adequate amount of vitamin D present, then the body will be unable to absorb adequate amounts of calcium. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common and can eventually lead to bone loss. There is also research to suggest a correlation between dental implant success or failure and vitamin D levels. To prevent a deficiency, eat plenty of fatty fish, portobello mushrooms, canned tuna, and leafy greens.
Potassium preserves bone mass by neutralizing the blood. In cases where the blood becomes too acidic, the body will redirect calcium from the jawbones into other parts of the body, causing the jawbone to deteriorate. By keeping the blood neutral, potassium prevents this from happening. The best way to get potassium is from bananas, however it is also contained in foods such as avocados, sweet potatoes, prunes, chard, lima beans, and tomatoes.
Vitamin K produces a protein called osteocalcin that protects the bones by preventing substances that break down bone tissue. Vitamin K is found in broccoli, kale, chollards, parsley, and brussel sprouts.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.