9 Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Gums

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/Eoneren

You need the right balance of vitamins and minerals in order for your gums and the rest of your body to be healthy.  It’s always best to get your nutrition through your daily diet but many people fall short in this area and require dietary supplements to help them out. 

Your gum tissue is responsible for forming a compact seal around your teeth, and they also serve as a barrier to bacterial infection.  Brushing your teeth after meals and daily flossing is important so that you maintain healthy oral hygiene by removing food particles around your teeth and gums.

Your gums serve many purposes, besides keeping your teeth in place. Healthy gums can lead to a healthy body because bacterial infections from your gums can enter your bloodstream. Gum disease has also been associated with heart problems and stroke. Many times, you can get a sense of how healthy you are, by the state of your gums.

We spoke to Dr. Chater at the Altima Kingston Dental Centre, and compiled a list of the best vitamins and minerals that you can use to improve your gum health.

  1. Vitamin A – Your teeth and gums will benefit greatly from vitamin A because it helps to stimulate your salivary glands. This helps your entire mouth overall because moisture inside your mouth helps the wash away bacteria and plaque. When your mouth is dry it can lead to gum disease so it’s great to have a moist mouth. If you want vitamin A you can eat eggs, kale, spinach, peppers and oranges.
  2. B vitamins – The soft tissues of your mouth is just important as your teeth so you must take care of them especially your gums and vitamin B can help you with this.  Riboflavin B-2 and niacin B-3 in particular are great for oral health. The reason they’re so great is that they help to reduce sores and inflammation like inflamed gums and canker sores in your mouth. Your healthy gums mean you have a healthy body for the most part. You can get vitamin B in almonds, dairy products, spinach, red meat and legumes.
  3. Vitamin C – vitamin C does a great job of helping the immune system which of course means your teeth and gums as well.  There are countless benefits of vitamin C but the main one that helps your oral health is its ability to keep the connective tissues in the mouth.  When your body has low vitamin C, you open yourself up to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This would cause some of your teeth to come loose and also results in swollen and bleeding gums.  Vitamin C can be found in a lot of foods such as berries, citrus fruits peppers and kale.
  4. Vitamin D – many people have a vitamin D deficiency which prevents them from absorbing calcium properly. If your body is low on vitamin D then you can’t absorb all the vitamin C you intake. Exposing yourself to sunlight for just 15 minutes per day can have a great impact on your vitamin D levels.  It’s a quick easy way to get your daily amount of vitamin D you can also eat foods rich in vitamin D such as dairy products a milk and yogurt. 
  5. Vitamin E – researchers have found an association between vitamin E and gum disease prevention. This is due to vitamin E’s amazing anti-inflammatory properties.  If you eat a lot of vitamin E you could lower inflammation in your mouth and prevent oxidative stress.  You can get vitamin E in great foods like nuts, fish, seeds, wheat germ and avocado.
  6. Potassium – potassium aids in blood clotting which is a requirement for recovery from any injury. If you happen to injure your gums in any way through an accident, or just flossing and brushing, then you need potassium for that wound to heal.  Potassium is also great for healthy bones because it impedes the process of extracting minerals from your teeth which is also called demineralization. So you end up with healthy white teeth! You can get potassium in a wide range of fruits and vegetables such as bananas, oranges, spinach, potatoes, pumpkin and peas.
  7. Iron – it’s virtually impossible to be healthy without enough iron in your diet. This mineral is crucial and many times we don’t understand how important it is until it’s the lacking in our body, and we don’t feel well. If our iron is low we may feel dizzy, tired and weak, some people also get headaches. Iron serves to keep your red blood cell count at a normal level. But if we don’t have enough iron in our diet it can affect the oral health as well, because it could lead to inflammation and severe gum disease.  On top of all of this, low levels of iron can lead to sores inside your mouth as well as an inflamed tongue. You can get iron in green vegetables like spinach and broccoli. You can also find them in brown rice, eggs and beetroot. 
  8. Calcium – whenever we think of bone health we know that calcium is very important for bones and teeth.  If we don’t have enough calcium in our diets the body will start extracting it from the teeth and bones leading to tooth decay and fragile teeth.  Lack of calcium can also lead to gum disease so you need to get enough of it in your diet. You can get it from most dairy products like milk and yogurt but also green leafy vegetables, sardines and almonds.
  9. Phosphorus – in order for calcium to work in your body, it needs vitamin D as well as phosphorus for proper absorption. So phosphorus is very important and you can find it in yogurt, red meat, beans and nuts.

Proper nutrition is important for overall health, but also great dental health.  The necessary vitamins and minerals in your diet will help you to achieve this.  With proper planning and consistency you can have a healthy body and a great smile.




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