Gums help to support the teeth, muscles, tissues and bones inside your mouth. Unfortunately, your gums might be prone to gum disease or being swollen. To help prevent or treat these conditions, you should consider changing your diet to include a selection of nutritious foods that are rich in vitamins, ensuring that your gums remain healthy and strong. Check with your doctor before you take any vitamins.
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Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the body, as it assists in the manufacture of collagen, a protein that is used to make tissues around the gums, holding your teeth in place. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant vitamin and is important for protecting you from free radicals, which are unstable compounds that may harm your gums by making them brittle. A vitamin C deficiency may result in inflammation of the gums or bleeding gums. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, green peppers, potatoes and spinach.
Vitamin B-12 or cobalamin is part of the B-vitamin group. It's important that you have an adequate supply of vitamin B-12 in your diet, as low intake of the nutrient may result in anemia. Bleeding gums are associated with anemia. Vitamin B-12 is also important as it helps to keep skin tissues healthy. Vitamin B-12 is can only be found in animal foods, such as eggs, fish, pork, shellfish and liver.
Vitamin E is fat-soluble, meaning that the vitamin is stored inside your fatty tissues. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant vitamin, helping to protect your tissues from free radical damage. Vitamin E has been shown to help treat severe periodontal diseases, which include periodontitis or gingivitis. Good food sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, asparagus, seeds and corn.
Vitamin A is important for helping to form and repair your teeth and soft tissues. Vitamin A is another antioxidant vitamin, efficient in destroying free radicals. Vitamin A is essential for keeping periodontal tissues healthy. Vitamin A is found in foods like carrots, cream, fish oil, leafy vegetables, eggs and winter squashes.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- MedlinePlus: Gum Disease; Feb. 28, 2011
- MedlinePlus: Gums - Swollen; Jack D. Rosenberg, D.D.S.; 2010
- American Academy of Periodontology: Types of Gum Disease; Feb. 22, 2011
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-12; Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D.; 2009
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin A; Linda Vorvick, M.D.; March 7, 2009
- MedlinePlus: Anemia - B-12 deficiency; Yi-Bin Chen, MD; 2010
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C; Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D.; 2009
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E; Linda Vorvick, M.D.; 2009