When we think of the minerals our bodies need to function optimally, we usually think of the big ones, such as calcium and magnesium.
But a study in the International Journal of Scientific Research reveals a mineral that’s essential for our gum health.
This mineral kills bad mouth bacteria and strengthens your teeth and gums.
What is this essential mineral for your gum? Find out in today’s article…
Zinc is not a mineral that our bodies need in large amounts. In fact, the European Union advises that 25 milligrams of zinc intake per day is the safe upper limit.
Except for people with regular diarrhea and/or vomiting, or people who live in dire poverty, zinc deficiency is rare as zinc is available in red meat, dairy, eggs, whole grains, and legumes.
It is often included as an ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpastes, so the authors of this new study wanted to know exactly what the benefits were regarding its effects against gum disease.
After examining and analyzing the literature, they found many different benefits of this trace mineral.
1. Toothpastes that contain zinc prevent a bacteria called Streptococcus mutans from producing acid that damage our teeth.
2. When zinc is used along with fluoride in toothpastes, it directly kills bacteria, especially Fusobacterium nucleatum and Prevotella intermedia that are two of the main culprits behind mild gum inflammation (gingivitis). As chronic gingivitis is a major risk for gum disease, this is an important step.
3. Zinc deficiency interferes with the function of immune cells, which can cause them to produce too much inflammation in response to the bacteria in our mouths.
4. Zinc deficiency causes an overproduction of inflammatory cytokines that, in turn, cause a lot of tissue damage through the release of free radicals. That is how our gums and the bones that support them are destroyed.
5. Zinc deficiency leads to the reduced production of the protein collagen. Collagen is strong, rigid tissue that supports all of our skin and bone, which makes it an important part of the system that supports our gums and teeth.
6. Zinc deficiency reduces alkaline phosphatase activity. Alkaline phosphatase activity shows that osteoblast cells are present that produce plenty of new bone. This is important because it means that the bones that support our gums are being rebuilt and maintained.
As a result of all these findings, it is clearly advisable to consume enough zinc in our diet and to choose a mouthwash or toothpaste that contains zinc.