The importance of proper nutrition for dental health

Article Author

Author: Ana Mikuličić , DMD


Dental health is a key factor in overall health and well-being. In addition to the aesthetic function, healthy teeth enable proper nutrition, speech and breathing. Numerous scientific evidences confirm that nutrition has a significant impact on dental health throughout life. This blog brings you information about the impact of diet on dental health, with an emphasis on the prevention of caries and gum disease.

Influence of sugar and cariogenic effect

Excessive sugar consumption is the main risk factor for tooth decay. Sugar ferments in the oral cavity with the help of bacteria, creating acids that damage tooth enamel. Long-term exposure to acidity leads to enamel demineralization and caries.

The influence of solid food on dental health

Eating solid foods, such as apples, carrots, celery and nuts, has a double benefit for dental health. First, chewing this food stimulates the secretion of saliva, which neutralizes the acidity in the mouth and prevents tooth decay. Second, it mechanically cleans the teeth and interdental spaces, preventing the accumulation of plaque and bacteria.

The role of vitamins and minerals in dental health

Vitamin AIt is important for immune defense and gum health. Good sources of vitamin A are pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and liver.
Vitamin CHelps maintain healthy gums and prevents bleeding. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli and strawberries.
Vitamin DHelps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, essential minerals for healthy teeth. Good sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms and sun exposure.
Vitamin K2Participates in the mineralization of bones and teeth. Good sources of vitamin K2 are fermented dairy products, green leafy vegetables and liver.
MagnesiumHelps strengthen enamel and prevents demineralization. Good sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and bananas.

Nutrition and oral microbiota

The oral cavity contains a diverse microbial ecosystem known as the oral microbiota. This microbiota is made up of hundreds of different types of bacteria, some of which are beneficial and some of which are harmful. Diet significantly affects the composition of the oral microbiota. Sugar and carbohydrates encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that produce acids and contribute to tooth decay. On the other hand, a diet rich in fiber and nutrients encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy oral flora.

Recommendations for a healthy diet and dental health

Eating habits and prevention of gum disease

Along with caries, gum disease is another important oral disease. Research shows that diet can also affect the health of the gums. Lack of vitamin C, important for the synthesis of collagen in the gums, can increase the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis – gum disease. Also, a diet rich in sugar can negatively affect the body’s immune response, making it more vulnerable to gum infections.

Nutritional strategies for specific dental needs

Nutritional strategies can be tailored to specific dental needs. For example, in developing children, a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus is important for the health of baby and permanent teeth. T pregnancy and breastfeeding also require dietary modifications to ensure optimal dental health in the mother and the development of healthy teeth in the child. In the elderly, a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is important for maintaining bone and tooth health and preventing tooth loss.


Nutrition plays a key role in maintaining dental health throughout life. Choosing a healthy diet rich in nutrients and limiting the consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates can have a significant impact on the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. Also, nutrition affects the composition of the oral microbiota and the body’s immune response, which additionally affects the health of the teeth and gums. Dentists and nutritionists can provide individual dietary recommendations to optimize dental health based on individual needs and conditions.