How Vitamins and Minerals Affect Your Teeth
One main function of the digestive system is to break down foods and beverages so that the necessary nutrients are absorbed into the body. As part of your digestive system, your teeth are one of the many structures that are directly affected by the vitamins and minerals absorbed into the body. Here is how some of the most common vitamins and minerals affect your teeth:
Since calcium is a mineral that is good for your bones, it is also good for your teeth. Although your teeth are composed from enamel, which is different from bone, calcium helps to strengthen the enamel. Additionally, calcium helps to build up the jawbone in order to provide support to your teeth. Calcium can be obtained by eating dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as eating broccoli and salmon.
Phosphorus is a mineral that works with calcium to promote strong bones and teeth. Not only is phosphorus one of the most abundant minerals found in the human body, but the majority of phosphorus resides inside your teeth. Phosphorus is obtained from eating seafood, soybeans, lentils, beef, pork, and cheese.
Potassium prevents bone loss by neutralizing your blood. When the pH of your blood becomes too acidic, this can cause calcium to be redirected from the bones to other areas of the body. This causes the bone mass to decrease, which can eventually lead to changes in structure and possible lost teeth. One of the best ways to get potassium is by eating bananas, however potassium can also be found in lima beans, tomatoes, Swiss chard, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, and prunes.
Vitamin A promotes soft tissue health by preventing dry mouth and promoting faster healing. Vitamin A can be obtained from leafy greens, orange-colored fruits, fish, egg yolks, and liver.
Vitamin C promotes soft tissue health and can help prevent gingivitis. By promoting healthy gums, vitamin C helps to keep your teeth firmly rooted in place. Citrus fruits are the most common source of vitamin C, however it can also be found in leafy greens, as well as potatoes.
Vitamin D is used by the body to absorb calcium from the small intestines to the bloodstream. Because of this, the amount of vitamin D you consume directly influences the amount of calcium your body is able to absorb. In order to ensure you are getting enough calcium to keep your bones and teeth healthy, you must make sure you are getting enough vitamin D. If you are deficient in vitamin D, your body will leach calcium from your bones, which can have a serious impact on your oral and overall health. Vitamin D can be obtained by sunlight, fatty fish, canned tuna, portobello mushrooms, leafy greens, and vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin K protects bones by producing a bone-strengthening protein called osteocalcin. It also preserves bone mass by blocking the substances responsible for breaking down bone tissue. Vitamin K can be obtained from leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collards, parsley, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.