Six Vitamins assisting with gum health, tooth revitalization, and supporting periodontal bone
Vitamins are essential for good health and optimal bodily functioning. Likewise, a variety of vitamins are necessary for maintaining the health of oral and periodontal tissues.
Vitamin A can be found in different forms: preformed (in dairy, fish and meat); provitamin A such as beta-carotene (found in plant-based products such as fruits and vegetables); and retinol (known as Vitamin A1) found in organ meat, oily fish and eggs as well as dairy.
It is one of the fat-soluble vitamins which means it is absorbed along with fats and can be stored in the body's fatty tissue. Owing to its antioxidant potential (and alongside vitamin K, being required to enable the conversion of vitamin D into its active form) vitamin A has been used to supplement periodontal treatment. A healthy individual needs approximately 900 µg of vitamin A per day.
Vitamin B Complex
The vitamin B complex group consists of vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine) B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamins). The B vitamins are necessary for cell growth and influential in the quality of blood, both of which are essential for healthy gums.
Studies have noted that using B-vitamin complex supplementation can accelerate the healing process following periodontal flap surgery.
Research indicates that reduced serum vitamin B9 levels are often found in smokers and this may lead to periodontitis.
Alongside anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause gingival bleeding.
Research suggests that as vitamin B12 levels decrease, the severity of periodontitis increases.
Vitamin C is essential for tissue repair and growth and vitamin C deficiency is known to cause bleeding and inflamed gums. Without vitamin C collagen cannot be formed which is necessary for healthy connective fibers, which maintain strong tissues and blood vessels that secure teeth into gums Vitamin C is thought to lower the risk of periodontal disease and perhaps facilitate healing of the periodontium; it is renowned for supporting the immune system which may perhaps be due to it having strong antioxidant properties .
Owing to its role in periodontal health, vitamin C may be a key ingredient in coatings and/or gel forms to assist with the bone connection necessary for successful dental implants: bone connection and to improve periodontal healing following surgery.
Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases generally, due in part to its anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical studies indicate that a deficiency of dietary vitamin D can cause gingival inflammation and that periodontitis is more prevalent among those who are deficient. A deficiency of dietary vitamin D may also cause a delay in post-surgical periodontal healing.
Vitamin D is of interest to those concerned with periodontal health because of its known benefits to bone metabolism as well as anti-inflammatory activity. Most studies seem to evaluate vitamin D alongside calcium supplementation which can make isolating the effect of vitamin D difficult however studies report positive outcomes with supplementation, particularly in terms of a decrease in the amount of bone destruction and inflammation. Therefore, it may have a positive impact upon the rate of tooth loss in vitamin-deficient patients with periodontal diseases.
Vitamin K2 works in conjunction with Vitamin D. Vitamin K is needed (along with vitamin A) in order to convert of Vitamin D into its active form. It has an anti-inflammatory impact upon the immune system in the following ways:
Reducing inflammatory markers production.
Regulating inflammation-causing immune cells.
Decreasing fibroblast (commonly-found connective tissue) cells
Vitamin E is regarded as a powerful antioxidant that is thought to assist with tissue healing and especially with reducing gum bleeding. A few studies have reported positive results in terms of vitamin E and the maintenance of periodontal health and minimizing inflammation. Furthermore, reduced vitamin E levels have been observed in patients with periodontal diseases in comparison to those without.
Eight minerals involved in supporting healthy gums and revitalizing periodontal bones
Alongside vitamins, mineral deficiency can impact upon periodontal health as well so it is worth exploring the association between mineral intake and periodontal health.
Calcium is necessary for tooth and bone formation and supplementation is thought to improve the outcome of non-surgical periodontal treatment. Applying calcium locally or topically is thought to enhance osseo-integration (bone integration necessary to allow implants to 'take'). Calcium can be found in dairy products, eggs, tinned bony fish, pulses such as lentils and beans, leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Phosphorus assists calcium to form strong bones and teeth. It is fortunate that phosphorus can be found in many foods: such as seafood (scallops, sardines, cod, shrimp, tuna and salmon); beef, pork and cheese; or soybeans, lentils and pumpkin seeds if you are looking for a plant-based source).
Iodine is considered to be a trace mineral in the body, which means that only small amounts are required is to have an effect. Iodine also assists with teeth and bone development as it enables calcium absorption in the body which, is a key constituent of teeth and bones. It is also necessary for optimal functioning of the salivary glands, which of course play a key role in oral health. Good iodine sources include shellfish, dairy products, eggs, seaweed, garlic, sesame seeds, squash, and moderate doses of iodized salt.
Magnesium is required for cell metabolism and bone formation and it is magnesium rather than calcium, that generates hard enamel that resists decay. Magnesium deficiency is also associated with periodontal disease and so supplementation may improve dental health and result in more successful non-surgical periodontal treatment outcomes. Magnesium-rich foods include dark chocolate/cacao, seafood/shellfish, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, nuts, and marine vegetables.
Along with vitamin D, potassium is an electrolyte and electrolytes assist with a range of essential bodily functions, including improving bone mineral density. It also works alongside magnesium to ensure that the blood maintains a good ph balance and does not become too acidic. If this happens, the body responds by releasing alkaline compounds (such as calcium) to neutralize it, and this is taken from the bones and teeth. It isn't produced naturally by the body so ensuring the right balance is key.
Bananas are known as good sources of potassium and there are many other foods that are also potassium-rich. Other foods with high levels of the mineral include beans, green leafy vegetables, potatoes and sweet potatoes, peas, mushrooms, avocados and prunes. Whole grains, lean meats, and nuts are also good sources.
Iron and zinc
Iron and zinc may have anti-oxidant effects on the periodontium but overall, both are essential to immune health, which in turn is necessary for a healthy mouth. Animal studies suggest that deficiency increases the risk of developing periodontal disease. Zinc in particular is thought to help with wound healing and assists with the transportation of vitamin A to fight inflammation, both of which are key in the fight against gum disease. Red meat, tuna, dry beans, and spinach are full of iron, while zinc can be found in protein-rich foods, spinach, and grains.
Fluoride is usually used by dentists and in most kinds of toothpaste to prevent tooth and gum decay and many countries fluoridate their water. It is said to promote the remineralization of tooth enamel which is the protective coating on teeth and can be found in natural sources such as black tea, and seafood, for example.
Coenzyme Q10 is an important substance which assists with the function of many organs and chemical reactions in the body. It assists in providing energy to cells and appears to have antioxidant properties. However, deficiency is quite common, especially if you take certain medications, such as statins for hypertension or if you have low levels of B-vitamins and trace minerals required for CoQ10 synthesis.
Coenzyme Q10 appears to help promote healing, reduce pain and the bleeding associated with gum disease, as well as reducing inflammation in the gums. It is, therefore, another key substance involved in dental health, which seems to be supported by studies which find increased incidence in those with a deficiency. Apart from supplementation, good sources are pork, beef, chicken liver, and some vegetable oils and parsley.