Good oral health is key to maintaining our overall well-being. A healthy mouth not only helps us chew and speak properly, but it also plays a vital role in our overall health. General and family dentistry treatments (like routine exams and cleanings) with our Lakewood dentist are a great way to maintain our oral health. But, our diets may be more integral to our oral health than we originally thought.
Want to discuss your nutrition and oral health goals with a trusted Lakewood dentist? Contact a Lakewood Dental Group in Dallas, TX, today at (214) 827-1885 to get information, schedule appointments, and more!
A balanced and nutritious diet is essential to promote good oral health. Indeed, research proves that a nutrient-dense diet can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. In this blog post, we discuss how different nutrients affect oral health so that you can get the most out of your diet and smile.
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for the development and maintenance of strong teeth and bones. This mineral helps to keep teeth strong and healthy by strengthening tooth enamel and supporting the jawbone.
Many yummy foods include calcium, including:
- Dairy products (like milk, cheese, and yogurt)
- Leafy green vegetables (like collard greens and kale)
- Nuts and seeds (like almonds, flax seeds, and hazelnuts)
A lack of calcium in the diet can lead to weak bones and teeth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Experts recommend getting at least 1,000 mg of calcium a day for adults.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, the body cannot effectively use the calcium it receives from our diets.
This means that, no matter how much calcium is in our diets, it won’t help strengthen our teeth without sufficient vitamin D. It is for this reason that so many dairy products are fortified with vitamin D for optimal calcium absorption.
Sunlight is a readily-available and abundant source of vitamin D. However, there are certain foods that we can add to our diets to maximize the amount of vitamin D available to our bodies, such as:
- Fatty fish (like salmon, swordfish, and trout)
- Egg yolks
- Fortified dairy products
A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to weak bones and teeth. This can quickly lead to dental decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Our Lakewood dentist recommends that adults get at least 15 to 20 micrograms of vitamin D daily.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to promote healthy gums and teeth by encouraging collagen production, which is essential for soft oral tissues.
Foods that are rich in vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits (like oranges and grapefruits)
A lack of vitamin C in the diet can make wound healing much more challenging. This is problematic, as certain oral diseases (like gum disease) can create microscopic lesions in the gum tissue. As a result, insufficient vitamin C can lead to or worsen gum disease, which can cause bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth loss.
Our Lakewood dentist recommends getting at between 75 and 90 mg of vitamin C daily to promote healthier teeth and gums in adults.
Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy oral tissues. It helps to promote the production of saliva, which is essential for neutralizing acids in the mouth and washing away food particles.
As a food-based nutrient, we can find vitamin A in:
- Animal products (such as liver and dairy)
- Orange and yellow vegetables (such as carrots and sweet potatoes)
- Certain fish (like tuna)
A lack of vitamin A in our diets can lead to dry mouth (medically known as xerostomia). Dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, making vitamin A an essential part of our diets. Our Lakewood dentist recommends getting between 700 and 900 micrograms of vitamin A daily for optimal oral health in adults.
Phosphorus is a mineral that is important for the development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It helps to promote the remineralization of tooth enamel, which can help to prevent tooth decay.
We can find phosphorus in:
- Dairy products
- Whole grains
A lack of phosphorus in the diet can lead to weak tooth enamel, which can increase the risk of tooth decay. Weak tooth enamel can also lead to severe tooth sensitivity, which may affect our overall quality of life. Our Lakewood dentist recommends 500 to 1,000 mg of phosphorus daily for stronger tooth enamel.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. It accomplishes this by promoting enamel remineralization, which can help to prevent cavities.
Many public water supplies contain fluoridated water to help citizens get the fluoride they need for healthy teeth and bones. We can also find fluoride in many oral health and hygiene products, including:
A lack of fluoride in the diet can increase the risk of tooth decay. Our Lakewood dentist recommends that adults get between 1 to 3 mg of fluoride daily to build strong teeth and bones.
Iron is important for maintaining healthy oral tissues. It helps to promote the production of saliva, which is essential for neutralizing acids in the mouth and washing away cavity-causing debris.
We can find iron in many of the foods we eat, such as:
- Red meats
A lack of iron in the diet can lead to dry mouth, which can rapidly lead to dental decay and periodontitis. Our Lakewood dentist recommends that adult men get roughly 8 mg of iron daily while adult women get approximately 18 mg of iron daily.
Discuss Nutrition and Oral Health with a Lakewood Dentist
These are just seven essential nutrients that can help you get a healthier, stronger smile. If you want to discuss nutrition and oral health with a trusted Lakewood dentist, then contact Lakewood Dental Group today. Patients can schedule appointments online, or they may call our dental office in Dallas, TX, at (214) 827-1885 for appointments and advice.