Vitamins For Teeth And Gums
Nutrition is important for the proper growth, development, maintenance, and repair of healthy dentition and oral tissues. Classified as water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins and obtained from different sources, deficiency of these can cause certain changes in the oral cavity. Nutrition and oral health are important for pregnant women and aids in the development of the fetus, and arrests the growth of pre-malignant lesions. A healthy diet plays an important role in keeping the gums healthy, including dental elements and quantity of saliva, etc.
When dealing with programs for prevention, the issue is addressed by educating people about dental hygiene and healthy eating. Fluoride prophylaxis, periodic check-ups, and good nutrition that aid in healthy growth is advocated. The term ‘bio nutrition’ refers to the interaction between diet, genetics, and the role nutrients play in good health. Thus, preventing pathologies at the cellular, organic, and sub-cellular levels is crucial to stop the disease from spreading.
There is a connection between diet and oral health. A healthy diet plays an important role in keeping the gums healthy, including periodontal tissues, dental elements, the quantity of saliva, etc.
1. Folate And Vitamin B Complex
Supplementing your diet with folic acid reduces the chances of cleft lip, and cleft palate and a recent study done on the same have proved the reduced occurrence of the disease if supplemented with folic acid. B vitamins also play a crucial role in maintaining oral health, and their deficiencies may lead to the oral cavity, stomatitis, glossitis and oral ulcers.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen. It is also necessary for pulp, creation of dentin, periodontal fibers, pulp, cementum, blood vessels, connective tissue, gingival nerves, and periodontal ligament. Vitamin C is necessary for the turnover of bones, teeth and connective tissue throughout life. A lack of these antioxidants leads to scurvy, initial symptoms leading to inflammation of the gingiva. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helpful for several reparative mechanisms in the body.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A functions as an important component to maintain the mucosal membrane, salivary glands, and teeth. Animal studies have shown that the deficiency of this vitamin leads to abnormalities, including tooth brittleness, degradation of salivary glands, and a higher risk of caries. It also safeguards against the cleft palate.
4. Vitamin D
Like insufficient Vitamin A, Vitamin D is associated with enamel and dentin hypoplasia. It has been shown that inadequate vitamin D levels result in delayed eruption, loss of cementum and lamina dura (the protective layer between the tooth and the bone). Once cementum is lost, it inadvertently leads to tooth loss.
Vitamin D is not found in sufficient amounts in breast milk. Hence, infants should also be supplemented with Vitamin D; and one best way to address this deficiency is by consuming at least one litre of formula milk every day. American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has also recommended that all breastfed infants and non-breastfed infants not ingest a minimum of one litre of vitamin D-fortified formula milk must receive a supplemental 40010 of vitamin D per day, available in liquid formulation.
Dietary Recommendations For Caries Prevention
- Increase consumption of fibres
- Consumption of cheese – found to have a cariostatic effect.
- Make sure the diet is rich in amides, low sugar.
- Consumption of cow milk – the high calcium, phosphorous and casein in this milk further helps in inhibiting caries.
- Whole foods – they require better mastication and thus help in increased salivary secretion.
- Peanuts, hard cheese, chewing gum – gustative/mechanical stimulators of saliva.
- Black tea – increased fluorine concentration in plaque, decreases cariogenicity of a sugar-rich diet.
Consumption of tobacco and smoking alters the distribution of nutrients in the body and is detrimental to health. Additionally, it has been found that smoke modifies the distribution of folates and antioxidants.
The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society also recommends the intake of healthy foods in one’s diet, and as per their guidelines, we need to follow the following:
- Maintain desirable body weight.
- Eat a varied diet.
- Ensure intake of a variety of fruits and veggies.
- Consume foods high in fibre.
- Avoid eating too many fatty foods.
- Limit alcohol.
- Avoid excessive intake of salty foods and foods preserved with nitrates.
This can be caused by the deficiency of folic acid, vitamin A, B1, B2, vitamin C, K and zinc.
Serum levels of vitamin A, C, B12 and folic acid have been deficient in this disease. The management includes consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, tomatoes and products derived from them. These have been found to reduce the risk of the onset of leukoplakia significantly.