Vitamin deficiencies are common, and although they are usually harmless, they can have a detrimental effect on your teeth and gums. Vitamin deficiencies can cause gum inflammation, dry mouth, and tooth decay. They can also increase your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease.
Everyone needs vitamin A, but making sure you're getting enough of it is especially crucial for your oral health. This vitamin helps the body produce saliva, which aids in rinsing food particles from your mouth and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. It also promotes healthy tooth enamel by preventing new plaque buildup and removing old plaque that's already formed on your teeth. Without adequate amounts of this vitamin, you may have more cavities and experience gum inflammation. It's also what gives your skin its color, and it's necessary for both your eye health and your metabolism. You can get it from milk, eggs, margarine, beef liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, fish, cod liver oil, tuna, and cantaloupe. Your dentist may recommend taking supplements for this as well if your diet isn't providing substantial amounts.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, promotes healthy blood circulation and supports nerve function. Your tongue, cheeks, gums, lips, throat, and other structures of your mouth all require vitamin B1 to maintain their structure and integrity. It also assists the body in forming blood cells. Your body naturally produces this vitamin. However, deficiencies can occur when the body is deprived of the necessary nutrients.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is essential for the repair and growth of healthy gum tissues. Your body doesn't produce this vitamin on its own, so it's necessary to get it from foods or supplements. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and leafy greens. It's also available as a dietary supplement that can be taken daily in pill form.
Studies have shown that vitamin C can help combat gum disease in several ways. First, it has the ability to reduce gum bleeding and prevent gingivitis. When gums bleed, it means they are inflamed or infected. This can be an early sign of gum disease. By reducing the inflammation, vitamin C helps to prevent the disease from progressing further. Vitamin C also strengthens the collagen fibers that support your teeth and gum tissue. This prevents tooth loss and receding gums over time. A lack of vitamin C can even cause scurvy, which is a disease that causes intense damage to teeth and gums alike. Therefore, it's extremely important to get enough vitamin C every day.
If you're interested in learning more, schedule an appointment with Tanega Dental, located in South San Francisco, CA. We are equipped with the best dentists and the latest technologies. Call us at (650) 794-0203 and schedule an appointment with our family dentist.