Which vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy teeth and gums? A dentist advises.

August 27, 2020
Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD

Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis, and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care (https://www.coraldentalcare.com), she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also educating the dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health, recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.

Apart from including the following essential vitamins and minerals in your diet for healthy teeth and gums, you can also take supplements to increase their intake.

If you are looking to improve the health of your gums and teeth, start with good nutrition. The first and most important aspect of your oral health is your diet. Your gums and teeth depend on nutrients for their health.

Below is a list of the vitamins and minerals required for good oral health and the foods you can find them in.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the primary minerals for maintaining teeth and gum health. Your teeth and supporting jaw bones are majorly made up of calcium. Calcium is essential to build enamel in your teeth. It’s also needed for normal development and to keep teeth strong. Calcium circulates in small amounts in the bloodstream and needs to be carefully regulated in your body.

Dairy products are the best source of calcium. Other good sources include sardines, leafy vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, almonds, and orange juice. You can also take calcium supplements if your dentist advises so.

Potassium

Potassium is important to bone and teeth health. It helps the body guard against weakening of supporting structures like the jaw. It is also essential to blood clotting. For people whose gums bleed occasionally or when they floss, blood will clot more efficiently and the wound will heal quicker if the levels of potassium are high in their body.

Bananas are the best source of potassium. Tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, legumes, mushrooms, dark leafy vegetables, and cheese also offer good potassium content.

Phosphorus

The complete absorption of calcium in the body requires it to be paired with phosphorous. Phosphorous, along with calcium, is important for teeth building. A lot of dairy products contain both phosphorus and calcium together. Most calcium supplements, however, do not have phosphorous in them. To make up for this lack of phosphorous, aim to get it from your diet.

Foods high in phosphorous are milk, cheese, red meats, lentils, nuts, whole grains, cod, shrimp, scallops, and pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin D

Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Vitamin D helps regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the bloodstream.

About 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is good enough to get you the amount of vitamin D you need. Cod liver capsules are an excellent source of this vitamin as well. Vitamin D can also be found in fatty fish, orange juice, milk, and mushrooms.

Vitamin K

A deficiency in vitamin K can slow down your body’s healing process. This makes you more likely to bleed. It is one of the most important vitamins for healthy teeth.

Eat lots of leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards for a good intake of vitamin K. Other good sources include brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E works in two ways to prevent the onset on periodontal diseases. First, it decreases inflammation in the mouth. Secondly, it acts like an antioxidant. The antioxidant property of this vitamin helps it to fight the oxidation of gum tissue, which can give rise to multiple other issues.

To ensure a healthy amount of vitamin E in your diet, include foods like nuts and seeds, fish, avocado, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps keep the mucous membrane of your mouth healthy. This membrane coats your gums and cheeks and makes them less prone to diseases. This vitamin also prevents dry mouth by facilitating saliva production. Saliva is essential for cleaning harmful bacteria and food particles from between teeth and gums.

You can find vitamin A in abundance in carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, collard greens, egg yolks, fish, liver, apricots, and pumpkin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is crucial for periodontal health. It helps build connective tissue that prevents gum inflammation. Without enough vitamin C, teeth can become loose, gums can bleed, and gum diseases like scurvy and gingivitis can occur.

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Other good sources include broccoli, kale, berries, sweet potatoes, and peppers.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B helps ward off mouth sores and oral inflammation. If you’re prone to canker sores, get more of this vitamin in your diet. Rich sources of vitamin B include fish, red meat, dairy products, spinach, beans, legumes, green vegetables, and almonds.

Dietary Supplements Can Play a Role

Apart from including these essential vitamins and minerals in your diet for healthy teeth and gums, you can also take supplements to increase their intake. However, make sure you do so only on the recommendation of your dentist.

About the Author

Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis, and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care (https://www.coraldentalcare.com), she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also educating the dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health, recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.