The health of our teeth and gums depends on our diet. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, other minerals and vitamins play an essential role for teeth and gums: phosphorus, fluoride, vitamin A, B and C.
These nutrients are indispensable in the diet of all ages to get a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile
Food is a determining factor in our general health. Logically, it also influences the state of our oral health.
There are nutrients whose participation in the formation and health of the teeth and gums is fundamental; among them are calcium, phosphorus, fluorine, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamins of group B. Milk and milk products are a group of foods that are an excellent source of most of these elements: calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, D, and B.
Nutrients for healthy teeth and gums
Calcium It is an essential element in the formation of bones and teeth. 99% of the calcium in our body is found in them. The remaining 1% is in the blood, extracellular fluid and adipose tissue. Calcium is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses, for muscle contraction, for blood coagulation and for the functioning of the heart and maintenance of blood pressure. It also prevents the formation of colon tumors and the formation of kidney stones.
An average amount of 1,000 mg of calcium per day is recommended. The main source of calcium in the daily diet is milk and its derivatives. There are other foods that contain calcium: cereals, vegetables or dark green vegetables, nuts, beans and especially small fish that can be eaten with spines such as sardines or smallmouths.
Phosphorus: It is the second most abundant mineral in the body. It constitutes the structure of bones and teeth next to calcium. Among other functions, it contributes to maintaining the activity of the muscular system and the acid-base balance of the organism.
It is found in foods of animal origin such as milk and its derivatives, eggs, fish and also in foods of vegetable origin such as legumes, nuts or zucchini.
Fluoride: Taken orally is especially useful in the stages of life in which teeth are forming. It reinforces the structure of the dental enamel, protects against caries and demineralizes the enamel. An excess of dose can alter the dental structure causing what is known as fluorosis is.
It is found in waters at various concentrations according to the geographical region and in foods such as tea. In smaller quantities in other foods of vegetable origin: tomatoes, beans, lentils, cherries, potatoes. In animals: mackerel, sardine, cow liver, fresh fish.
Vitamin D: It facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
It is found in oily fish, liver oil fish, margarine, eggs, milk and dairy products. A part of this vitamin is formed in the skin by the sun’s rays, hence the importance of exposing ourselves to the moderate sun, especially children (they are in dental and bone formation) and the elderly (decreases absorption capacity digestive of vitamin D contributed by food).
Vitamin C: Involved in the synthesis of collagen in the gums and the rest of the body. In addition, it intervenes in the formation of cartilage, tendons, bones and teeth, favoring the adequate formation of osteoid material and the function of osteoblasts. On the other hand, vitamin C protects the integrity of blood vessels, maintaining its proper permeability, which at the level of the periodontium protects against bacterial attacks.
It is found in fruits known as citrus fruits (orange, lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit), kiwi, fresh soybeans, tomatoes, green pepper, lettuce, potato, cauliflower.
Vitamin A: Involved in the formation and development of bones and teeth, prevents infections and has antioxidant and anticancer function. Its deficit produces alteration of the structure of bones and teeth and resection of the mucous membranes, which increases the predisposition to caries and infections.
It is found in foods of animal origin such as blue fish, liver, egg yolk, butter, cheese, and whole or enriched milk. It is also found in foods of vegetable origin such as apricot, melon, carrot, mango, peach, spinach, Brussels sprouts, tomato, meddlers.
Vitamin B2: found in milk, cheese, eggs, liver, legumes, green vegetables and brewer’s yeast. Its deficit produces glossaries (inflammation of the tongue), angular stomatitis (fissures or cracks in the skin that radiate from the corners of the mouth and sometimes to the buckle mucosa) and cheilosis of the lips (painful fissures in the upper and lower lips).
Niacin: found in the liver, lean meats, cereals, legumes and brewer’s yeast. It seems to have an important role in the prevention of periodontitis. Its administration improves glossies (inflammation of the tongue) and atrophic tongue.
Vitamin B12: found in meats, organ meats, eggs, fish and dairy products. Improves glossaries. It seems that correcting vitamin B12 deficiency improves periodontitis.