How a Poor Nutrition Can Affect Your Teeth


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How a Poor Nutrition Can Affect Your Teeth

Most of you are not alien to the fact that diet can affect the overall health of your body. But do you know that it can influence your oral health as well?

The American Dental Association (ADA) signifies that oral health and diet go hand in hand. In other words, sufficient nutrient intake will contribute to healthy gingiva and teeth. In contrast, disruptions in the diet balance (a.k.a. malnutrition) will harm the overall health of your body and teeth.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is well-known for its anti-oxidant properties. Its deficiency is associated with less consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Effect On Children

Scurvy (bleeding gums) is a disease seen in people lacking vitamin C. An exciting story of the sailors of the 18th century is linked with this disease. Sailors of ancient times used to go on long sea voyages to explore the world. The fruits and vegetables rotted on the long journey, and they mostly consumed salted meat. This resulted in them developing scurvy.

A literature review from the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics revealed that scurvy is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Apart from scurvy, weakness, bone pain, mobility of deciduous teeth, and prolonged healing of wounds are also manifested as a consequence of vitamin C deficiency in children.

Effect On Adults

Like children, the disease of scurvy is also seen in adults. Apart from bleeding gums, dentists have noted the presence of blood blisters on the floor of the mouth in smokers who have vitamin C deficiency. A similar clinical occurrence has been discussed in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine.

Vitamin D:

Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Younger people tend to make more vitamin D from sunbeams than older individuals. Its deficiency occurs mainly due to lack of sunlight exposure and is more common in the US states like Alaska, which receive less sunshine.

Effect On Children

Deficiency of vitamin D causes enamel and dentin malformations in deciduous teeth. A study published in the journals of the US National Library of Medicine provided evidence of the associated tooth malformations.

Rickets (weak bones) occurs in children due to vitamin D deficiency. A research paper of 2015 highlights the incidence of rickets being higher in low-sunlight receiving states like Alaska. Other problems like fractures of the mandible and pain in facial muscles have also been associated with the deficiency of this nutrient.

Effect On Adult

In adults, vitamin D deficiency leads to inflammation of the gums and periodontal tissues. These changes are associated with permanent teeth. Moreover, the deficiency of this nutrient leads to osteoporosis i.e. decreased bone density leading to weak and fractured bones. Dentists have noted that all the cases of implant failure have one thing in common; less bone density.

Vitamin B complex:

Vitamins of the B-complex are casually referred to as stress vitamins. This is because of its increased consumption by the body during the “fight or flight” activity.

Effect On Children

Vitamin B deficiency in children presents a range of symptoms that varies from child to child. These include growth abnormalities, yellow skin, weight loss due to anorexia, fatigue, and discomfort.

Moreover, a study of the pediatrics department proved that the deficiency of this nutrient is associated with neurological disorders, impairment of muscle function, and megaloblastic anemia in children.

Effect On Adult

Like children, megaloblastic anemia is also seen in adults. In addition, various other diseases have also been noticed upon examination. These include ulcers on the corners of the mouth, fissures on tongue (geographic tongue), redness and swelling. In previous years, an association with gastric cancer has also been noticed.


Zinc is an anti-rust element known to structural steelworkers. In addition, this element is essential for the structural design of oral tissues. Its deficiency occurs in gastrointestinal abnormalities, poor diet, and diabetic individuals.

Effect On Children

International Journal of Dental Hygiene has reported the presence of dental caries and poor gingival contours in children with zinc deficiency.

Effect On Adults

Older adults with zinc deficiency have mentioned a change in taste to their clinician. Moreover, clinical studies show that zinc deficiency can cause recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) in 28% of adults. 


The enzymes of the body require magnesium to regulate muscle protein and neuronal functions.

Effect On Children

Studies show that magnesium deficiency is associated with premature tooth loss. Moreover, developmental tooth anomalies like hypoplastic enamel and dentin have also been noted in such children.

Effect On Adults

Tongue tremors have been noted in adults with magnesium deficiency. Moreover, the prevalence of periodontal tissue destruction in adults has been reported and published in the National Library of Medicine.

Omega 3:

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid. Its natural sources include fishes like Salmon, Mackerel, and Tuna. Furthermore, it is also available in the form of tablets and lozenges. FDA has mentioned the required weekly dose of Omega 3 to be 8 to 12 ounces for adults; the value is less for children. The effects of the deficiency of this nutrient are mentioned below:

Effect On Children

An association exists in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Omega 3 deficiency. Moreover, evidence suggests that children lacking this nutrient in prenatal life have a greater propensity towards dental, neurologic, and psychological anomalies.

Effect On Adults

Like children, ADHD has also been associated with low Omega 3 in adults. Furthermore, the deficiency has also been linked to learning, and health-related problems like thin nails, joint pain (TMJ), etc.

How To Prevent These Problems?

  • Consume 8 ounces of fish every week
  • Daily consumption of 400 grams of fruits and vegetables
  • Consume water between 6 to 8 glasses per day
  • Brush your teeth daily twice a day for 2 minutes.
  • Train your child to brush daily from an early age (3 onwards); care mode (low-power mode) of FOSOOs kids electric toothbrush can be helpful in this regard.
  • Avoid stress during pregnancy.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet according to the key points of the World Health Organization (WHO)

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