Nutrient Deficiencies and Oral Health


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Everyone knows that diet plays a crucial role in our health, but diet is also extremely important for our oral health. Of course foods that you eat such as sugar can immediately impact your teeth; however, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that we consume both from foods and from supplements have a larger role to play in our oral health and can keep our mouths healthy.

Vitamins B and C

Vitamin B deficiency can affect everything from canker sores to bad breath to a burning feeling in the mouth. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to bleeding gums and infections in the mouth. People with vitamin B deficiency may also have trouble swallowing or a sore tongue. B vitamins that are important include vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12. To get more vitamin B in your diet, you can eat avocado, potatoes, bananas, and eggs. If you want to take a supplement, be sure to take a B supplement that includes all of these B vitamins. People with vitamin C deficiency may also have trouble fighting off infections once they happen. To get more vitamin C, focus on peppers, dark green veggies, carrots, or fruits like strawberries and kiwi.

Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium

It’s commonly known that vitamin D helps with strong bones and good quality of the bones, and our teeth and jaw are made from bone! To decrease risk of fractures, tooth loss, loose teeth, and bleeding gums, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium. Eating fatty fish, getting enough sunlight, and eating dairy can all be good sources of these vitamins. Be careful when consuming dairy though—your mouth turns the dairy into lactose, which is just another form of sugar. When this sits on your teeth, it can cause damage like cavities.

Magnesium deficiency can cause inflammation of the gums and is important to take with vitamin D and calcium for proper absorption in the body. This can be taken as a supplement as well or it can be eaten in foods such as broccoli, almonds, and kale.

Iron and Zinc

Iron deficiency can cause swollen tongue and sores in the mouth. Iron-rich foods include dark leafy greens such as spinach, also beans and pumpkin seeds. Zinc is an important mineral that can cause loss of feeling in your tongue, loss of taste, or dry mouth. Zinc is essential for both men and women as it helps both sexes stay fertile, and can have other great benefits for the body such as keeping our skin clear and our immune systems in top form. Get zinc from foods such as tomato juice, spinach, and lentils.

Knowing about your vitamin and mineral consumption is important for keeping your dental health on track. Nutrients play a vital role in our mouth just as they do in the rest of our bodies. Keep these vitamins as an important part in your diet, and when you can’t get them from foods, find a high-quality supplement to take.

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Vitamin Deficiencies and Oral Health
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Knowing about your vitamin and mineral consumption is important for keeping your dental health on track. Nutrients play a vital role in our mouth just as they do in the rest of our bodies.

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Genevieve Border
Genevieve Border

Dr. Borders is a dentist in Washington D.C., with extensive training in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and all types of restorative dental procedures. For more information on Dr. Borders visit http://www.dcdentalspa.com

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