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Vitamins and Your Oral Health

A B C D…No we aren’t saying the alphabet, those are the four vitamins that are the most important for maintaining a healthy smile. Certain vitamin deficiencies can affect your mouth and teeth, so it is important to make sure you get enough of the vitamins your body needs. You can always take vitamins in pill form, but eating a healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins you need. Typically foods that are lacking in vitamins are bad for your teeth, too. By avoiding these, you are doing your body two favors at once.

So, why are these specific vitamins the best for your teeth? Here we explain it all and tell you how you can get enough of each vitamin:

Vitamin A – This vitamin increases the growth of skin cells and helps them to maintain themselves. Skin cells play an important role in healing your mouth, so a lack of vitamin A can lead to delayed healing of sores and cuts. It can also mean longer recovery periods after oral surgery. The longer your injuries and incisions take to heal, the more likely they are to get infected with bacteria.

Good sources of vitamin A include leafy green vegetables, fortified milk, and liver. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes, are also high in vitamin A.

Vitamin B – If you have ever noticed a burning sensation in your mouth, had trouble swallowing, or felt like your tongue was swollen, you probably have a vitamin B deficiency. Vitamin B deficiencies are one of the most common deficiencies that can affect your oral health. B deficiencies can also lead to more annoying problems like painful inflammation or cracking in the corners of your mouth, recurring canker sores, fungal infection, and losing your sense of taste.

There are a lot of good sources of vitamin B. Some common sources include pork, poultry, fish, whole grains, nuts, eggs, milk, broccoli, asparagus, bananas and orange juice.

Vitamin C – Your body needs vitamin C to make collagen. Collagen is the building block for many tissues. Smokers need extra amounts of this vitamin because smoking depletes vitamin C. If your gums bleed easily, you could have a deficiency in vitamin C. In a study of 12,000 adults, researchers at State University of New York at Buffalo found that those who consumed less than 60 mg of vitamin C a day were 25 percent more likely to have gum disease than people who took in 180 mg or more.

Sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and cantaloupe.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D works to achieve maximum calcium absorption and maintain bone quality and strength. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency increases your risk of jaw fracture and periodontal disease. Early in life, lack of this vitamin can affect the formation of teeth.

While the body is capable of making its own vitamin D, provided it is exposed to several minutes of sunlight two or three times a week, other good sources of vitamin D include fish, milk products, egg yolk, and some cereals.




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