When you’re about to dig into a delicious salmon dish, it’s hard not to grin from ear to ear – but did you know that the nutrients in the fish can also contribute to a healthy smile? This superfood from the sea is chock-full of vitamin D, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to be essential for good oral health.
There’s only a handful of foods that contain “the sunshine vitamin,” and salmon is one of them!
When you’re out in the sun, the UVB rays prompt your skin cells to make vitamin D from cholesterol. However, you may not be getting enough of this important vitamin, especially in the fall and winter. In fact, 40% of Americans are estimated to be deficient in vitamin D.
When it comes to your dental health, vitamin D is critical because it enables your body to absorb and use calcium. This mineral helps you maintain strong, healthy jaw bones, keeping your teeth in place, while also protecting your gums and teeth from cavities and disease. Not enough vitamin D can also result in dry mouth, which can lead to more serious issues like tooth decay or gum disease.
Salmon is an excellent source of phosphorus, which like Vitamin D, also helps the body fully absorb calcium.
Phosphorus is also one of the main minerals in tooth enamel, along with calcium. Tooth enamel is actually the hardest and most mineralized substance within the entire human body! In addition, it plays a crucial role in your dental health by serving as a barrier that protects the softer dentin and pulp on the inside of the tooth.
Phosphorus can also help rebuild vulnerable spots worn away by acids through remineralization, a natural process in which the minerals are redeposited back into the enamel.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is an abundant source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fat that has been shown to protect the teeth from peridontal disease, which infects the gums, peridontal ligament, and alveolar bone. (You may be more familiar with the term gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of peridontal disease that affects the gums.)
In addition to preventing infections, omega-3s can also reduce inflammation that occurs during the healing process if you have dental surgery or your wisdom teeth pulled.
Plus, salmon is the perfect food to eat post-operation – when you need something soft, easy to chew, and delicious!
Ready to take a bite into some salmon? Dive into our treasure trove of salmon recipes!