Vitamin C is Crucial for Oral Health
Find out how to get enough in your diet.
Vitamin C has long been known to be beneficial to oral health. In the 1800s, British sailors used to receive daily rations of lime juice aboard long sea voyages to ensure the health of their crews—thus preventing the dreaded disease known as scurvy. Though they didn’t understand the mechanism for the improvement, we now understand that it’s because of Vitamin C.
Where can I get Vitamin C?
It’s easily accessible through many delicious fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, in particular, are the most commonly recognized source of the essential nutrient. Additionally, you may receive it in foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, kale, bell peppers, avocado, carrot, asparagus, and others. Indeed, a diet rich in Vitamin C is not only healthy but very tasty too!
How does it work?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, works to help oral health in several ways. Most importantly, it promotes the regeneration of tissue. This effect is particularly relevant to dentistry, as it directly benefits the health of your gums and prevents periodontal disease.
Vitamin C is water-soluble (as opposed to fat-soluble). That means that it cannot be stored long-term in the body, and so excessive intake or super-dosages provide little-to-no additional benefit. Instead, you should include a more modest amount on an ongoing basis through your regular diet.
Additionally, there is a potential drawback to eating and drinking too much. Since citrus fruits are relatively high in acidity, consuming excessive amounts can lead to enamel erosion and possible damage to your teeth. Make sure to brush your teeth to remove this threat, or at the very least, rinse your mouth with water.
Furthermore, if you take chewable supplements, be cautious. They may be high in acidity and leave a residue that is potentially harmful to your enamel. Similar to the citrus fruit described above, brush your teeth or rinse with water to reduce acidity.