Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is an antioxidant and immune system booster that is vital for overall health and well-being. The body does not naturally generate this water-soluble vitamin, thus it must be taken from food or dietary supplements. We spoke to dentist Dr. Dadjoo who shared that the mending of oral tissues, improved gum health, and reduced risk of tooth decay are just some of the oral health benefits associated with vitamin C. In this article, we’ll discuss the many ways that vitamin C may support your teeth and gums.
How Vitamin C Affects Gum Health
Gum health is greatly aided by vitamin C. Inflammation and infection in the gums are the root causes of gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory and connective tissue-strengthening properties have been demonstrated to be useful in the prevention and treatment of gum disease. Gum disease may occur if your body doesn’t get enough vitamin C, which weakens the collagen fibers that support your gums. Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C may also reduce inflammation in the gums by shielding them from irritants like free radicals.
Vitamin C may help cure gum disease by lowering inflammation and aiding the repair of damaged gum tissue, and it can also be used to prevent the onset of gum disease.
How Vitamin C Prevents Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is another problem that vitamin C may help with. Tooth decay, commonly known as dental caries, occurs when acids generated by oral bacteria demineralize tooth enamel. The remineralization of tooth enamel and a decrease in dangerous bacteria in the mouth are two ways in which vitamin C has been found to aid in the prevention of tooth decay. Vitamin C promotes saliva production, which in turn helps to remineralize dental enamel and buffer bacterial acids. Vitamin C also inhibits the development of Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that contributes to tooth decay.
Vitamin C and Healing of Oral Tissues
Healing oral tissues is another key function of vitamin C. Damage to oral tissues may occur for a variety of reasons, including periodontal disease, trauma, and surgical procedures. Collagen is a protein necessary for the development and repair of tissues, and vitamin C aids in its creation, making it a vital player in the healing process. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and plays a crucial role in wound repair, bone and connective tissue growth, and skin and hair health. A lack of vitamin C may slow wound healing and damage connective tissue since it is necessary for the formation of collagen.
Furthermore, vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that may defend oral tissues from free radicals and other pollutants. Vitamin C aids in keeping teeth and gums healthy by preventing damage and speeding the recovery of damaged tissues. Supplementing with vitamin C may hasten the recovery of those who have had oral surgery or sustained oral trauma.
How Vitamin C Supports the Immune System
Vitamin C’s benefits to the immune system are well-known, and the same is true for the health of your teeth and gums. Infections of the mouth and gums are particularly difficult for the immune system to fight against. The generation of white blood cells, which are important for warding off infections, may be boosted by vitamin C, according to studies. Vitamin C also aids in preventing free radical and toxin damage to immune system cells.
Vitamin C’s immune-boosting properties make it useful for combating and treating oral infections including thrush and gum disease. Vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties also make it useful for combating mouth infections.
Food Sources of Vitamin C for Oral Health
Vitamin C, which can be found in many different foods, is essential for healthy gums and teeth. Vitamin C-rich foods include the following:
- Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. They are a good snack for your teeth and gums since they are low in sugar and rich in fiber.
- Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C include berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blues. They are also high in antioxidants, which prevents damage to the oral tissues.
- Vitamin C and other minerals like potassium and fiber may be found in abundance in kiwis, which are a kind of tropical fruit. It’s a good option for your teeth and gums since it has a low sugar content.
- Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and other minerals like calcium and fiber since it is a cruciferous vegetable. In addition, it has little calories, making it an excellent option for those trying to watch their weight.
- Peppers of all hues, including red and green, are excellent sources of vitamin C. Peppers of all colors, but especially red and green, are a great source of vitamin C, as well as being low in calories and rich in fiber.
Include these vitamin C-rich foods in your diet to help maintain healthy gums and teeth and general wellness.
Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin C for Oral Health
Adults need between 75 and 90 milligrams of vitamin C every day. However, some research suggests that increasing one’s vitamin C consumption may improve one’s dental and general health. In addition to eating vitamin C-rich foods, the American Dental Association suggests that those who smoke or have diabetes, two major risk factors for gum disease, consider taking a vitamin C supplement.
It’s crucial to remember that getting too much vitamin C might cause unpleasant side effects including stomach cramps and diarrhea. Therefore, before taking excessive amounts of vitamin C, it is vital to talk to a doctor. Vitamin C is essential for good dental and overall health, and consuming a varied diet high in vitamin C is one way to be sure you’re receiving enough of this essential nutrient.
The value of vitamin C in preserving good dental health cannot be overstated. It promotes gum health, stops tooth decay, speeds up the mending of oral tissues, and helps the immune system fight off mouth and gum diseases. A healthy diet rich in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin C supplementation, is the best way to ensure enough vitamin intake. Good dental hygiene and a diet high in vitamin C both play a role in keeping your teeth and gums strong and disease-free. High-dose vitamin C supplementation may have health risks; talk to your doctor before trying it.