Your oral health is more important than you may realize. Without proper brushing and flossing, bacteria levels can become imbalanced and lead to problems with tooth decay or gum disease. Importantly, we should note that proper brushing and flossing aren’t the only way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Maintaining healthy eating habits and getting the proper vitamins and minerals in your diet is also very important.
What Vitamins and Minerals Help To Play A Role In Oral Health?
Your teeth and gum tissue are affected by the food and drinks that you put in your mouth. They can be positively or negatively affected, depending on what choices you are making. Let’s start by taking a look at a few nutrients that help boost your oral health:
- Calcium: Your teeth are made up of calcium and phosphate so making sure to get enough calcium in your diet is important for your bones and your teeth. Great sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables such as kale or broccoli and also dairy products.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is very important for the absorption of calcium, not having enough vitamin D may stunt your body’s ability to absorb calcium for stronger teeth. Getting vitamin D through being in the sun is one of the most natural ways to get it!
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is very important for your gum tissue. If you are deficient in vitamin C, you might notice your gum tissue bleeds easily. Bleeding gums are never a sign of health! Citrus fruits and potatoes are a great way to get vitamin C!
- Vitamin A: This vitamin is important for your saliva and it helps your mucous membranes to stay healthy. Cod liver oil is a great way to get vitamin A, although this vitamin can be found in some foods too such as pumpkins, spinach, and kale.
Choosing a diet that is high in processed foods and sugar can have a big impact on your oral health. Foods that are high in sugar can lead to problems with tooth decay. Eating lots of processed foods may mean that you are missing out on important vitamins and minerals. You might end up with deficiencies that show themselves in your teeth or in your gum tissue.
If you are unsure if you are eating well for your teeth, it can be helpful to speak with our trained dental team. They can work with you to figure out ways to be best caring for your teeth through the foods that you are eating.
What Overall Health Conditions Can Be Linked To Oral Health?
Keeping a healthy mouth isn’t just for the benefit of your teeth and gums. Studies show that having a healthy mouth can benefit other body systems and organs as well. Thus, having poor oral health may contribute to various disease or conditions such as:
- Endocarditis: Endocarditis is a condition involving inflammation of your heart. This disease occurs when bacteria from another place in the body is carried by the bloodstream and then attaches to an area of the heart.
- Cardiovascular Disease: This heart condition of clogged arteries could also be related to inflammation that is going on in your oral cavity.
- Pregnancy and birth complications: Studies have linked inflammation of your gum tissue (as in periodontal disease) to babies born with low birth rate.
- Respiratory diseases: It is possible for certain bacteria in your mouth to be moved to your lungs and cause problems such as pneumonia.
Hopefully this article was helpful in showing you how your oral hygiene can affect your overall health. The small decisions that you make each day really do add up over the years to either help or harm your teeth. If you have any other questions or are looking to schedule your next dental appointment, please give us a call!