Good oral hygiene goes beyond a commitment to brushing of the teeth after every meal and swirling some mouthwash to keep the breath smelling sweet. The health of the teeth and the gums can directly affect an individual's overall state of health, so keeping the teeth and gums healthy by making smart food and beverage choices and supplementing the diet with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients proven beneficial for oral health is essential.
Because the teeth and jaw bones are comprised primarily of calcium, getting a sufficient supply of absorbable calcium in the diet can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Including an array of antioxidants in the diet, such as Vitamins A, C and E, is essential for the health of the gums because there antioxidants protect the cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals in addition to helping speed up the healing process. A deficiency of Vitamin C in particular can cause gums to bleed or become inflamed, which in turn can lead to early tooth loss. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production that helps to keep mouth tissue healthy.
Coenzyme Q10 is another antioxidant that should be included in a well-rounded oral hygiene program. Not only can this nutrient help protect the gums from periodontitis, it also helps boost the body's overall immune system response which can help to prevent infection of bacteria in mouth tissue, the tongue, the teeth and the gum tissue. Other nutrients that support the health of the teeth and gums are Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb the necessary amounts of bone-building calcium. Iron helps prevent mouth sores, and Vitamin B3 contributes to preventing bad breath.