Your gums play a vital role in protecting and supporting your teeth. Keeping your gum tissue healthy is just as important as keeping your teeth healthy, especially since gum disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss .
The good news is that by eating healthy, you can support your teeth as well as your gums. The following are some of the most essential nutrients for gum health that you may not know about!
There have been several studies published that show a link between anemia (an iron deficiency) and periodontal health, although no causal link has yet been established . From what we know, being deficient in iron appears to influence gum inflammation, but problems with your gum tissue may also influence the levels of iron in your body. Although we’re still learning about the link between iron and periodontal health, ensuring you’re getting enough iron may just help you keep your gums healthy!
Not getting enough calcium in your diet doesn’t just affect the health of your teeth—it can also influence your risk for gum disease. Low dietary intake of calcium can worsen existing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for developing gum disease in the first place . Calcium also keeps your alveolar bone—the bone in your jaw that supports your teeth—strong to resist damage from gum disease.
Vitamin D works with calcium to keep teeth healthy and strong. However, vitamin D has also been shown to play a role in gum health. Being deficient in vitamin D may trigger inflammatory processes in the body that can make it more difficult for your immune system to fight off gum disease . Getting enough vitamin D in your diet and through safe sun exposure may help lower your risk for gum disease and support strong alveolar bone for healthy teeth!
Known for playing a vital role in the immune system, vitamin C has also been linked to periodontal disease. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can lower your risk for gum disease . Vitamin C also supports the connective tissue in your gums, since vitamin C plays an essential role in collagen production, which can help support your teeth.
Protein doesn’t just play an important part in wound healing in the body—it also helps support the connective tissue in your gums. In fact, research shows that getting enough protein in your diet has been associated with lower risk of gum inflammation .
How Healthy Are Your Gums?
Combined with brushing and flossing, eating a diet rich in nutrients can help support your gum health and potentially lower your risk of periodontal disease. How healthy are your gums? Find out during your next checkup with your professional dentist!