Good Nutrition is Essential to Good Oral Health

Oral health: is the term used to refer to the health of the mouth. It is the term used to refer to the overall hygiene of the mouth. This includes the teeth, gums and tongue. This is a very important part of the body because it can affect our communication with people. A bad oral heath can be due to poor dental hygiene but can also be caused due to various illnesses.

Whenever a patient visits a doctor, after discussing the symptoms the doctor asks the patient to stick out the tongue. Why is it so? This is because the oral condition can tell the doctor a lot about the patient’s health. A poor oral health can mean that the patient could be suffering from diabetes, HIV/AIDS or some other eating disorders. Also, poor oral health can be due to cold sores, fungal infection, canker sores, dry mouth syndrome and oral cancer.

However, sometimes the causes of a poor oral health are not any major illnesses but only poor oral hygiene. And this poor hygiene cause bad health in turn. It is like a vicious cycle.

Good nutrition not only keeps us healthy and hence reflects in our oral health, but also results in a good oral health. Following is the list of nutrients for good oral hygiene:

Vitamin A: Lack of this can cause overgrown gums, bleeding gums and other gums diseases. This is found in green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B Complex: Lack of this vitamin can cause cracking and bleeding of lips. It can also lead to sores and lesions in the mouth which can further cause infections. This can spread to the rest of the body through blood. It can be found in whole grains and dark green vegetables.

Vitamin C: This brings in oxygen and nutrients via the capillaries and improves oral health. Lack of this can cause bleeding gums. This can be found in citrus fruits.

Calcium and Vitamin D: These help maintain healthy teeth which are strong too. The calcium and vitamin D gets absorbed in the teeth and hence gives strength to the teeth. After a certain age these two are added in prescription for daily intake. Calcium can be found in milk and bananas. Vitamin D is absorbed by exposure to sun.

Copper, Zinc, Iron, Iodine and Potassium: These are also a few minerals essential for good oral health.

Copper is found in legumes, nuts, sea food, raisins, molasses and soybeans.

Zinc is found in Brewer’s yeast, liver, soybeans, spinach, mushrooms and sunflower seeds.

Iron is found in red meat, liver, iron rich cereals, beef, whole grains, spinach, and dry fruits. Avoid intake of tea with iron as it reduces iron absorption in the body.

Iodine can be obtained from iodized salt, sea food and kelp.

Potassium is found in bananas, figs, apricot, dates, raisins and tomato juice.

Fluoride: This is found in toothpastes and when used strengthens the enamel of the teeth. This works with calcium and phosphorus and prevents tooth decay too.