Vitamins For Healthy Gums
There are certain vitamins that aid in the maintenance of our teeth and gums. Vitamins play a role in reinforcing the tissues in our bodies and in the functioning of our cells.
Vitamin C is a major vitamin that our body needs on a regular basis. As it is a water soluble vitamin any excess that is not used is eliminated from the body each day. So you need to keep topping it up regularly.
If your gums are swollen or prone to bleeding, vitamin C can help to strengthen the tissues to prevent that. It is one of the most reliable forms of gum inflammation prevention. Bioflavonoids contained in vitamin C also help to prevent the formation of plaque on and around the teeth and gums that cause cavities and stains on the teeth (bad breath can also be a sign of gum problems - see best toothpaste/mouthwash for bad breath).
Vitamin C is an antioxidant so it helps to strengthen the connective tissues of the gums making them stronger and better able to ward off gum disease. You may have heard of the disease 'scurvy' which sailors in the middle ages used to get due to a lack of vitamin C. One of the major symptoms of the disease was bleeding gums and tooth loss.
Vitamin A is also very valuable as a healing agent when the gums become inflamed. Lack of vitamin A can lead to inflammation of the mucous membranes and the soft tissue of the gums. It can also increase the chances of infections taking hold. Beef, eggs, liver, milk and cheese are all good sources.
Vitamin D in adequate amounts is a good preventer of inflammation of the gums as well. Vitamin D is also very beneficial in helping our bodies with the absorption of calcium - which is we all know is closely linked to healthy teeth, as it's necessary for the formation and maintenance of them.
Most people get their vitamin D from exposure to the sun, but people in far northern climates, probably do not get enough of the vitamin from that source alone. Fatty fish, milk and cheese are good sources of vitamin D, and it is also available in supplements.
Vitamin E is also a good source for the prevention and treatment of inflammation of the gums. It can be taken in pill form as supplements, and the gel capsules can be broken open and the substance can be rubbed on the gums if they are inflamed and sore. This topical application has been shown to be successful in the healing of bleeding and receding gums. Although it may taste pretty bad.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and is good for healing and tissue strengthening of the gums. It has also been helpful for babies when they are teething.
Vitamin B can help to prevent toothaches, and it strengthens the mucous membranes in the mouth. This one is also water soluble so it needs to be replenished on a daily basis. It is available in supplement form and in food sources such as fish, beef, and mushrooms.
The Easy Answer
It is of course possible to get all the major vitamins that we need from food alone. But with modern intensive farming practices and convenience food production that focus more on cheap prices and big volumes than on nutritional quality, this isn't as easy as it used to be. It also requires a more varied diet than many of us are used to or are willing to prepare and eat.
So it can be wise to take a good quality general multi-vitamin supplement to ensure you are getting at least a baseline level of the vitamins you need every day. Because the connection between nutrition and both teeth and gum health is very strong.
You don't need any expensive, special targeted vitamins - just a good general daily multi-vitamin will do the trick. Because if you want healthy gums you need to make sure your body gets what it needs to maintain them.
What Else Can I Do?
Obviously brushing and keeping your gums clean is the other half of the problem. Stronger, healthier gums from good nutrition will be able to 'resist' more punishment. But obviously that doesn't mean you can give up cleaning your teeth.
But if you're using toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints and whatever else - then you may be surprised (as I was) to find there is a new way. Because you can replace all of these with just 1 product, and in my opinion it works better than all 3 of the others put together! Dental Pro 7 is a highly concentrated all-natural liquid. Just a couple of drops on your toothbrush and it cleans, kills bacteria and leaves your mouth incredibly fresh for hours. All using natural oils and plant extracts.
The best thing about replacing mouthwash is that mouthwash itself can actually make things worse. They're mostly colored water of course, although they list it in the ingredients as 'aqua' (which means water). But they tend to include alcohol as one of their main active ingredients, which can stop saliva production and lead to dry mouth. And saliva is your bodies natural way of maintaining a healthy mouth. Without it you get more gum problems and bad breath! And presumably keep buying more mouthwash..?