STITTSVILLE, ONTARIO– Not surprisingly, what you put in your mouth affects your oral health. What you don’t put in your mouth may have an even greater impact.

Have you been skimping on your vegetables lately? Vitamin deficiencies can manifest in your smile. It’s important to incorporate a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Adequate nutrition plays a major role in your dental health as well as your overall wellbeing. Because oral health is not isolated from the rest of the body, evidence of malnutrition can be found in many areas of the mouth, including the teeth, gums, tongue, lips and cheeks.

At Trillium Dental, a provider of family dentistry in Stittsville, we encourage patients to take note of changes in their mouth. It may be your body’s way of signaling it needs more of a particular vitamin or mineral. Check out how nutrient deficiencies may impact your smile:

Vitamin A or C– A weakened immune response, bleeding gums, poor sense of taste and oral yeast infections are signs of a vitamin A or C deficiency. Load up on broccoli, kale, spinach, leafy greens, carrots, strawberries, citrus, papaya, peaches and red peppers.

Vitamin B2– A lack of vitamin B2 in your diet may translate into lips of an unusually red hue, sores around the mouth and an achy tongue. Eat plenty of broccoli, spinach, lentils and almonds.

Vitamin B3– Overall mouth pain, mouth sores and a swollen tip of the tongue could be an indication you need more vitamin B3. Eat more shrimp, lean ground beef, liver, potatoes and avocados.

Vitamin B6– Is your mouth burning and sore, or is your tongue unusually smooth? Add more vitamin B3 into your diet by enjoying broccoli, spinach, tomato juice, watermelon, bananas, chicken breast and white rice.

Vitamin B12– A shortage of vitamin B12 can show in various ways. Foul breath, mouth sores, fissures on a bright red tongue, dry mouth, impaired taste, bleeding and numbness all point to a vitamin B12 deficiency. Consume foods like poultry, meats, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk.

Vitamin D– Sufficient vitamin D is vital to enjoying good oral health. Some research even suggests vitamin D is more effective at preventing cavities than fluoride. Eat eggs, fatty fish, fortified milk and liver to reduce your chances of experiencing oral yeast infections, tooth softening and increased bleeding in the gums.

Calcium– Calcium promotes strong bones, so it’s no surprise that a lack of it may cause loose teeth, softened teeth and bleeding gums. Try adding more cheese, milk, yogurt, salmon and spinach into your diet.

Magnesium– If your gum tissue is inflamed, eat more artichokes, halibut, green beans, cashews, sunflower seeds, spinach and broccoli for added magnesium.

Zinc– A zinc deficiency can equate to dry mouth, increased vulnerability to gum disease, a numb tongue and a weakened sense of taste. Stock up on spinach, lentils, peas, tomato juice, lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt and Swiss cheese.

Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. It’s important to follow the recommended servings of each food group to ensure you aren’t consuming too much of a particular nutrient. Taking a daily vitamin supplement may be more convenient and easier to measure your intake. Consult with your doctor if you have special dietary needs.

We encourage you to fuel with the right foods to nourish your smile and body. If you spot sudden and unusual changes in your mouth, contact us. Your smile is a window into your general health. Our team of talented dentists can detect and alert you of serious health issues that may extend outside of dentistry.

In addition to keeping tabs on your dental health and overall wellbeing, our Stittsville area cosmetic dentists provide a broad scope of dental solutions, including Invisalign, dental implants and teeth whitening, in the Ottawa, Nepean, Kanata and Orleans areas. Call us to learn more.