Which nutrients are important for teeth and gums? And which mineral is vital for bones and teeth? These are some of the most frequent questions that family dentists always come across. This article will discuss the six most essential nutrients for your dental health. We will also provide the sources of these minerals.
Most people who are conscious about their oral health believe that brushing and flossing their teeth regularly and avoiding sugary foods is the key to healthy gum and teeth. Only a few recognize the benefits of healthy eating. While brushing is vital, we recommend focusing much on consuming foods rich in the following nutrients.
Essential Minerals For Dental Health
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most critical minerals in strengthening and optimizing the density of your bones. It is a water-insoluble Vitamin that is vital for bone homeostasis and the immune system.
Regarding oral health, vitamin D acts as an immune factor that helps prevent tooth decay and caries, gingivitis, among other conditions. The mineral also facilitates the repair of damaged dentin.
In addition to that, vitamin D plays a significant role in the mineralization of teeth. It also facilitates the absorption of other vital minerals, such as calcium.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to defective teeth (rachitic tooth) that are highly susceptible to decay.
Vitamin D has limited sources, the primary source being ultraviolet rays from direct sunlight and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. It is also available in foods such as organ meat, eggs, and dairy products such as yogurt, butter, and cheese. Your dentist can also recommend supplements to optimize the acquisition of enough Vitamins.
Calcium is a vital mineral that influences the development, strengthening, and maintenance of oral tissues, particularly the calcified oral tissues – including teeth and jaw bone.
The sufficiently varies with age and gender. It is recommendable to increase the consumption of calcium-rich foods as you grow.
Deficiency may lead to your body absorbing the calcium it needs from bones, thus compromising their strength, resulting in increased vulnerability.
The primary sources of calcium include natural leafy-green vegetables, dairy products, legumes, oysters, broccoli, almonds, and sardines. You may also consider calcium supplements.
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- Vitamins A, B, and C
Vitamins A, B, and C are crucial for the development and maintenance of oral tissues.
Vitamin A helps maintain the health of the mucous membrane, the lining that coats the gum and cheeks. It also enhances your dental immune system, therefore preventing oral inflammations and other infections in your mouth.
Vitamin B, also known as folic acid, also helps develop oral tissues by promoting cell growth. It is also vital for the oral immune system.
On the other hand, Vitamin C promotes periodontal health by helping in the creation of connective tissue, which prevents oral inflammation.
The nutrients’ primary sources include leafy green vegetables, organ meat, fish, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peppers, dairy products, almonds, beans, legumes, and fruits like berries and oranges.
Phosphorus is essential in facilitating the absorption of calcium. It also plays a supportive role in the development of healthy teeth and bones.
While calcium is vital for the formation of teeth and bones, sufficient absorption is determined significantly by phosphorus in the body. Research states that for calcium to be absorbed into the body, it needs to be paired with phosphorus.
The phosphorus’s primary sources include eggs, meat, scallops, sardines, shrimp, salmon, nuts, whole grains, dry fruits, and garlic.
Potassium has three main functionalities in maintaining oral health.
- It supplements vitamin D in the mineralization of bones and teeth.
- It works with magnesium in regulating blood acidity, thus preventing the leaching of calcium from bones and teeth
- It also helps in enhancing the clotting of blood, therefore, facilitating healing incase of dental injuries
Potassium is sufficiently available in dark-green leafy vegetables and fruits such as avocado and bananas. It is also available in legumes, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, and dairy products.
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- Vitamin K
Vitamin k is another essential mineral for dental health. Studies suggest that sufficient vitamin k lowers the risk of took cavity. It activates osteocalcin, a crucial protein for bone metabolism, which facilitates dentine growth within your teeth.
Vitamin K also works with vitamin D in facilitating the absorption of calcium, which is an essential element in bone and teeth formation.
In addition to that, vitamin K influences the healing process, thus playing a significant role in oral injuries.
The primary sources of vitamin k include leafy-green vegetables, Brussels, sprouts, and broccoli.
While nutritious foods are essential for our bodies’ growth and maintenance, a larger percentage of society consume fast foods that lack the vital nutrients. Relying heavily on fast foods may lead to a deficiency of minerals, such as vitamins and calcium potassium, necessary for overall body health, including dental health. Considering the consumption of foods rich in discussed nutrients will help you improve your oral health, ease your family dentist’s work, and save your money and time. You may also consider relevant supplements. However, your family dentist may not highly encouraged supplements.