The answer to how vitamins and minerals affect your teeth is simple. Were it not for vitamins and minerals, you wouldn’t have any teeth. If you did manage to grow teeth, they would soon crumble and fall out without vitamins and minerals. Even your gums would not fare well. But some vitamins and minerals are a bit more important to the health of the teeth than others.
When people think of healthy teeth, they think of calcium. Of all the minerals found in the body, calcium is the most abundant, and 99 percent of it is found in the bones and the teeth. To support the health of the teeth, calcium must be accompanied by other minerals such as phosphorus and vitamins A, C and D. It works especially well with phosphorus to maintain the teeth.
Phosphorus is second only to calcium when it comes to the amount found in the body. To support the teeth, it must work with calcium in an ideal ratio of 1 part phosphorus to 2.5 parts calcium. Unlike calcium, which the body finds hard to absorb, phosphorus is absorbed easily, and about 88 percent is stored in the teeth and bones. How well phosphorus is absorbed depends not just on the presence of calcium but also of vitamin D.
Some nutritionists and medical experts wonder whether vitamin D is really a vitamin, as it is one of the few that can be made by the body. It is synthesized when the skin is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Some people think it is another hormone. Whatever vitamin D is, it is necessary for healthy teeth. It helps the body absorb calcium from the intestines and helps the body break down and absorb phosphorus. Vitamin D also helps to create enzymes in the mucous membranes that help to transport calcium. Children who are deficient in vitamin D sometimes develop a condition called rickets, where neither their teeth nor bones calcify the way they should.
Though there’s not much potassium in the body, it is an essential mineral. Among its many jobs is to “sweeten” the blood with the help of magnesium. This keeps the blood from becoming overly acidic. Blood with a low pH can pull calcium from the teeth.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the cells against attack by free radical molecules, but its main job is to help the body make collagen. This is a protein that makes connective tissue all over the body, including the mouth. The collagen in the gums keeps them strong and healthy and prevents teeth from becoming loose
It’s fascinating to learn how different vitamins and minerals protect and help build our teeth. If you want more information or want to visit one of our North View Dental dentists, call today. Our number is 801-528-9099.