The vitamins you take in each day, whether through the foods you eat, the things you drink or supplements you ingest, do a great number of things for your body. These vitamins can also play a significant role in your mouth health as well. Ensuring that you get an adequate serving of each one can help keep your teeth and mouth in top shape, and keep those expensive dentist bills at bay.
Though you can usually get enough of these vitamins in your regular diet, talk to your dentist if you think you might be missing some for suggestions that are particular to you.
Top vitamins for mouth health
Remember, before taking any vitamins or over-the-counter medication, it’s always best to speak to a health care professional – first!
Calcium is known for its ability to maintain strong bones so it’s no surprise that it’s also essential in maintaining strong and healthy teeth. If you don’t consume enough calcium your body can react by pulling it from your teeth and bones, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Calcium can also help strengthen the jawbone, providing a good home for your teeth. Calcium is most often found in dairy products but is also common in steamed or raw leafy green vegetables, canned salmon and some nuts and seeds.
Phosphorus and calcium work together to strengthen teeth. Phosphorus helps your body absorb calcium so that it’s benefits can be fully realized. It can also help rebuild tooth enamel. Most people get enough phosphorus in their diet by consuming foods like dairy, red meat, whole grains and seafood.
Canker sores and oral inflammation can be very irritating to deal with and B vitamins can help your body to fight them off. Both B3 and B2, also known as niacin and riboflavin, help to keep gums and the soft tissue inside your mouth healthy. Include almonds, red meat, dairy and spinach in your diet to help maintain your levels of B vitamins.
This vitamin is necessary to maintain healthy teeth as it helps them to stay strong and ward off tooth decay. If you ever have to go in for oral surgery or notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, increased potassium intake can help your blood to clot better. Bananas are the most popular source of potassium, but avocados, dairy products, leafy greens and legumes are also great sources.
This vitamin helps your body to absorb calcium and maintain mineral levels in teeth so a deficiency of it can lead to cavities, inflammation and gum disease. Natural sunlight, oily fish and enriched dairy products are the most common sources, but supplementation might be necessary if your doctor recommends it.
A lack of iron in your diet can lead to a number of different concerns, including an inability to fight off inflammation and infection. This can result in an inability to fully treat gum inflammation, gingivitis and gum disease. Maintain a healthy level of iron by consuming red meat, eggs and some grain products.
Vitamin C is an important vitamin when it comes to mouth health. It helps keep the tissue in your gums healthy, meaning your teeth are held well in their place. A lack of vitamin C can lead to loose teeth, bleeding gums, gingivitis and gum disease. Citrus fruits, berries, peppers, kale and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin C.
Good mouth health is about more than just your teeth, and vitamin A is a great contributor to that. The saliva in your mouth helps break down the food you eat and clean the bacteria from your gums, and vitamin A keeps your salivary glands active. Vitamin A is most common in fish, egg yolks, kale and orange-coloured fruits and vegetables like bell peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes.
The dental benefits of vitamin K are just starting to be explored but there are signs that can play a role in preventing cavities. It can help your body to produce a specific protein that will cause the growth of fresh dentin, a tissue that sits under enamel and strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. Vitamin K is most commonly found in leafy green vegetables.
A Great Diet and Supplementation with Vitamins might be Right for You
It’s no secret that a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need for your overall health. However, when that’s not possible or realistic (which is common), it’s recommended you speak to your doctor about what might be right for you. Remember, even though buying vitamins can be done without a prescription, it is wise to get personalized suggestions from your health care provider, rather than magazines or social media.