The Role of Nutrition in Promoting Healthy Teeth and Gums

You can’t offset the health benefits of binge-eating candy apples if your regular diet consists of cafeteria foods and bags full of potato chips. But the plaque microbes, Brittenheimer found, have done their dirty work. Abandoning the same diet won’t necessarily undo the damage they have wrought. To keep everyone healthy, especially those at risk, healthier oral and body wellness demands the conscious practise of healthy eating at each meal and between meals. Appreciation for – and conscious access to – fresh whole produce and the seasonal experience of nature’s edible abundance becomes the wise and healthy guideline.

Calcium (from dairy and leafy vegetables) can fortify tooth enamel, and vitamin D (from oily fish, dairy and eggs) bolsters bones, helping the body to maximise its absorption of calcium. The action of gum tissue can be bolstered by vitamin C, while saliva production is stimulated by vitamin D. Saliva carries proteins that neutralise acid and wash away food particles.


Other than obvious bone health, calcium supports oral and overall health, especially for children and adolescents, when enamel is forming. Calcium helps to prevent cavities by contributing to strengthening enamel and by lowering acid erosion from foods and beverages in the mouth. It also supports the connective tissues that anchor teeth and defend against gingivitis and periodontitis.

Eat calcium-filled foods such as dairy products (milk, cheese and yoghurt, but also produce fortified dairy alternatives), leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, sesame seeds and eat fatty fish, eggs, sweet potatoes and fortified cereals as well.

Another essential nutrient needed to help calcium absorption is vitamin C. This nutrient acts as an antioxidant and is found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, peppers and also in leafy vegetables, such as lettuce. Another benefit of vitamin C in the diet is to increase blood circulation to gum tissue and helps in healing gum tissue if there is damage or inflammation.


Besides its essential role in many significant biological processes, phosphorus finds its way into our bones and teeth where, together with calcium, it forms the main structural component of bone and tooth enamel in the form of hydroxyapatite (Medline).

Consuming enough phosphorous in childhood can help to prevent osteoporosis later, and may help to remineralise tooth enamel that’s been stripped of minerals through decay or acid erosion.

Like calcium, phosphorus is found in many foods in numerous other foods. Good sources are lean meats, poultry and fish; dairy products; fruits (such as apricots, strawberries and kiwi); vegetables (especially Swiss chard and spinach); beans, nut nuts and other grains.

Phosphorous consumption is crucial as low levels cause a number of deficiency symptoms ranging from loss of appetite to anaemia or low red blood cell counts, poor physical coordination, muscle weakness, soft or easily broken bones, and even painful burning or tingling sensations in the skin. High levels of phosphorous can likewise lead to urinary tract infections or kidney stones, so it may be better to stay within daily dietary allowances to ensure good health. There you have it folks – phosphorous and nickel in our food are the first two of seven essential nutrients that are typically destroying your health and lowering your quality of life. Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be, but you’re going to have to pay attention in order to turn things around.

Vitamin C

It is well-recognised that vitamin C supports immunity, but it also supports gum health, aiding in collagen synthesis and gum-swelling by reducing inflammation and functioning as a powerful antioxidant to combat harmful bacteria causing tooth decay and gingivitis.

In the mouth, vitamin A is also important for gum health, helping the growth and maintenance of tissues that line the mouth and for stimulating salivation to clear bacteria and food remnants that lead to the decay and infection of teeth and gums.

B vitamins can help maintain oral health by stabilising the mucous membranes, and by reducing the risk of dry mouth, which steals moisture away from mucous membranes. Good food sources include meat, fish and dairy products but vegetarians and vegan should either take a B complex supplement or eat fortified plant foods to be sure of getting enough.


Fibre-rich diets provoke salivary flow, which helps to wash bits of food debris lingering when meals are over, and which also helps reduce gum disease.

Dietary fibre from many fruits and vegetables bind to acid that causes tooth erosion, preventing cavities. The process of chewing celery and apples also help clean teeth by increasing saliva production and removing excess plaque being built up on the teeth.

Foods that are rich in vitamin C – citrus fruits, strawberries and bell peppers – will encourage gum health by relieving inflammation. And the extra vitamin C will also help you absorb calcium for strong teeth and gums.

It is important to keep eating a healthy diet in order to keep the oral hygiene. Eating proper diet is the key for a healthy lifestyle. A proper diet is a balanced diet which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, some lean protein (such as fish, chicken, or pork), some whole grains (such as whole wheat breads, cereals, pasta, or rice), some dairy products (such as milk, cheese, or yogurt) and the water and sugar-containing drinks that expose your teeth to the destructive acids and bacteria of dental caries.
The sugar drinks or snacks that contain acids could keep the patients who eat them open to the acid attacks that could wear away their enamel layer and then lead to the tooth decays.


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