Even if you are careful to live an active lifestyle, eat a nutritious diet and generally take good care of your overall health, you must also remember not to neglect another very important component of a healthy body: your teeth. You may think that brushing them after meals and flossing occasionally is sufficient to maintain healthy teeth; actually, your body requires several different vitamins simply to build and maintain strong, healthy teeth.
Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin for your teeth. It is essential for your body to absorb calcium, the mineral your body uses to build both teeth and bones. Vitamin D balances the calcium levels in your blood and makes the calcium usable for your body. If the balance drops too low, your body will pull calcium out of your bones and teeth, weakening their structure and making them less dense.
Vitamin K is used primarily by your body to cause coagulation, or blood clotting, in your blood. However, vitamin K also affects your bone mineralization, which affects your teeth, as they are made out of the same minerals as bone. A vitamin K deficiency could lead to weakened teeth, and is usually caused by a disease, not from any lack of vitamin K in your diet. Vitamin K also impacts dental health because a deficiency can cause your gums to bleed easily after a tooth-cleaning.
The vitamin B family includes thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, B-12 and folic acid, to name a few. These vitamins typically help your body metabolize food into energy and form red blood cells. However, vitamin B deficiencies can commonly affect your mouth and teeth. While vitamin B deficiencies can weaken your teeth, they can also cause burning and swollen sensations on your tongue and difficulty swallowing.
Your body actually produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun’s rays. To make up for a deficiency, you can take a supplement or spend 10 minutes a day in the sun. Your body also makes vitamin K in your intestines, but it can be found externally in food like green leafy vegetables and broccoli. The B vitamins are found in many food sources, from meats and animal food products, to fruits and green vegetables.