As a dentist, you’ve probably told your patients thousands of times that they need to make brushing and flossing top priorities.
Is there more information you could be sharing with them, though? Perhaps they need to be improving their diets and adding in some nutritional supplements.
There are many vitamins for healthy gums and teeth that your patients may want to add into their routine in order to enhance their oral health. Some of the most important ones are listed below.
The Importance of Good Oral Health
Before getting into the specific vitamins your patients may need, it’s important to emphasize the effect that good oral health has on a person’s overall health.
If a patient’s teeth and gums aren’t cleaned regularly, bacteria can build up in the mouth and make its way into the bloodstream.
When bacteria makes its way into the bloodstream, it can lead to severe infections and cause a variety of infections and other health issues.
Poor oral health has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and preterm labor. It can also make it harder for diabetics to control their blood sugar. It often accompanies conditions like osteoporosis, sleep disorders, HIV/AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease, too.
Best Vitamins for Healthy Gums and Teeth
The following vitamins are all great options to supplement with if you want to keep your gums and teeth in tip-top shape.
In addition to being great for your vision and skin health, vitamin A also helps you maintain a healthy amount of saliva production. Saliva is necessary for cleaning away bacteria and food particles from in between the teeth and gums.
Vitamin A is found in orange fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. It’s also abundant in animal products like liver, fish, and egg yolks.
B vitamins are important for warding off mouth sores and minimizing oral inflammation.
The B vitamins niacin and riboflavin are especially important for this job, but all of the B vitamins, including vitamin B17 (you can read more about this lesser-known vitamin here), are necessary.
B vitamins are found in foods like poultry, fish, dairy products, red meat, almonds, legumes, and spinach.
Vitamin C keeps the connective tissues in the gums healthy and strong.
When these tissues are strong, they hold your teeth securely in place. If your teeth become loose, you can experience bleeding gums and an increased risk of gum disease.
Citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, limes, etc.) are great sources of vitamin C. You can also get vitamin C from peppers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, berries, and kale.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that prevents oral inflammation. Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods, but it’s especially abundant in nuts and seeds. Leafy green vegetables, avocado, and fish all contain vitamin E, too, as does wheat germ.
Iron is an important mineral that keeps your red blood cell count at an appropriate level. This, in turn, allows the immune system to work properly and fight off infection and disease (including oral infections and gum disease).
In order to get sufficient amounts of iron, be sure to consume foods like eggs, red meat, seafood, and leafy green vegetables. Some types of bread and cereal are also enriched with iron.
Calcium isn’t just necessary for healthy bones. It also keeps your teeth healthy.
If you’re not consuming adequate amounts of calcium, your body will steal calcium from your bones and teeth to meet other needs.
To maintain the strength and integrity of your smile, be sure to each plenty of calcium-rich foods, including broccoli, leafy green vegetables, dairy products, almonds, and legumes. Canned fish — salmon and sardines — with the bones is another good source.
If you want to absorb calcium properly, you need to also make sure you’re consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D also promotes a healthy immune system, so consuming enough of it is necessary for your body to fight off infections.
The easiest way to get the vitamin D you need is to simply spend about fifteen minutes per day sitting in direct sunlight so your body can make it naturally.
If you live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you can also eat foods like salmon, cod liver oil, egg yolks, and dairy products to get additional vitamin D in your diet.
Potassium blocks the absorption of substances that promote the breakdown of your bone tissue.
It also plays an important role in blood clotting and wound healing. If you’ve ever experienced bleeding gums after flossing your teeth, you know how important it is that your blood clots quickly and properly.
Good sources of potassium include bananas, avocados, leafy green vegetables, legumes, dairy products, mushrooms, and squash.
Zinc is a trace mineral that is found naturally in the saliva. It helps fight against bacteria growth and plaque formation, both of which can lead to tooth decay, cavities, chronic gum inflammation, and gum disease.
In order to consume sufficient amounts of zinc, be sure to eat plenty of cashews, legumes, dark chocolate, pumpkin, red meat, seeds, oysters, squash, and mushrooms.
Finally, patients who want to have healthy teeth and gums need to consume plenty of phosphorous. Like vitamin D, phosphorous is also necessary for proper calcium absorption.
Most calcium-rich foods are also good sources of phosphorous, including dairy products, lentils, nuts, red meat, and legumes.
As you can see, there are a lot of vitamins for healthy gums and teeth out there.
If you have patients who are keeping up with their brushing and flossing but want to take their oral hygiene routine to the next level, you may want to recommend they try supplementing with these vitamins to keep their pearly whites shiny and strong.
If you’re looking for more cutting-edge information to share with your patients, check out this article on the importance of good oral hygiene and how it can affect their overall health.