It is no surprise that our oral health and our overall health are closely related. The same way our body depends on vitamins and minerals to support our health, our mouth requires certain nutrients to keep it healthy. These nutrients help our body resist infection1 and a deficiency may have harmful effects on our oral health. Below are just a few nutrients that support good oral health:
- Calcium: 99% of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth where it provides structural support2. A reduced intake of calcium can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay1.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Having a low iron concentration results glossitis (an inflamed tongue). Sores may also develop inside the mouth when iron is low1.
- Vitamin B3: Also called Niacin, this essential nutrient is needed to avoid excessively bad breath and developing canker sores in the mouth1.
- Vitamin B12 and B2: Also known as Riboflavin, this is another imperative nutrient that contributes to the health of your oral soft tissue. Mouth sores are common when vitamin levels are low.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is not only helpful for your immune system; it plays a crucial role in protecting your gums from bleeding easily and your teeth from getting loose prematurely.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for your oral health. It is the vitamin that supports the absorption of calcium. With low levels of Vitamin D, you will develop the “burning mouth” syndrome1. Burning mouth syndrome causes a burning sensation in the mouth that could be accompanied by dry mouth and a metallic taste.
Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a great 1st step to supporting your oral health at any age!
1“Why Are Minerals and Nutrients Important for Oral Health.” Know Your Teeth. Academy of General Dentistry. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
2“Iron and Iron Deficiency.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.