The tooth may look a tiny structure, but is a very complicated one. Structurally, it has very high concentrations of minerals and vitamins, all essential for optimal dental health. Reduced or increased amounts of these substances can lead to obvious defects in the teeth, which may impair aesthetics and sometimes even the functioning of the tooth.
While calcium is one mineral that would immediately come to mind, there are a lot of other vitamins and minerals too which play a significant role both in tooth formation and in optimal dental health. Listed below are some of these, along with their role in dental health.
- Vitamin A: Often associated with vision, vitamin A is essential for production of good amount of saliva which maintains healthy mucous membranes. Reduced saliva increases predisposition to decay and gum disease and also increases bad breath.
- Vitamin D: Needless to say, with the strength of the jaw bones, a good amount of calcium is required to boost bone mineral density.
- Vitamin C: The gums have connective tissue fibers which help bind the tooth to the jaw bone. For good strength of the connective tissue, vitamin C is important. Therefore, vitamin C deficiency can lead to tooth mobility and even tooth loss in severe cases.
- Vitamin B complex: There are too many people who would have popped a multivitamin to ward off mouth sores. Niacin and riboflavin especially are essential for optimal mucosal health and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin K: This has multiple roles to play. It helps in improving the body's healing process, blocks substances that break down bone, promotes bone strength, and reduces bleeding disorders.
- Minerals: There is a long list of minerals that are essential for optimal dental health, as below:
- Calcium: From strong enamel to jaw bone, calcium is extremely important for the tooth to be fully formed. Calcium deficiency can result in hypoplastic teeth that are more prone for chipping and decay.
- Potassium: Needed to improve bone mineral density. It also works in conjunction with magnesium and prevents from the blood turning too acidic. Acidic blood can suck out calcium from teeth and bones.
- Fluoride: Proven to be the anti-decay magic medicine, fluoride reduces the incidence of tooth decay. Fluoride gels are applied for children to promote remineralization of enamel which may have initial caries.
- Phosphorus: Provides support to calcium and potassium in bone formation.
- Iron: Required for keeping red blood cell count at a good level and fighting infections.
- Iodine: This trace mineral is required for absorption of calcium and potassium that is essential for tooth formation.
- Zinc: Naturally found in saliva, it fights against plaque formation and subsequent infections.
For optimal dental function, ensure your diet has these essential nutrients.