If you take certain dietary supplements, you might believe they are enhancing your overall health. While this may be true, certain supplements can have detrimental effects on your teeth and gums. These effects can be especially troublesome if you wear braces, so if you take vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements, be sure to see your dentist on a regular basis. Here are some supplements that may have negative effects on your teeth and gums, especially if you wear braces or have dental restorations:
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They may help dampen systemic inflammation, reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, and help ease the pain of arthritis. While fish oil can provide you with a number of health benefits, they are not without side effects.
Fish oil has potent anticoagulant properties which can raise your risk for abnormal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, inside the nasal cavity, under your skin, and even in your mouth. This can be especially problematic if you wear braces because when your dentist examines your teeth and tightens your hardware, heavy or prolonged bleeding may develop. If you take fish oil supplements, make sure you tell your dentist so that he or she will take extra care during your examination and will monitor your gums for signs of bleeding.
If you take vitamin C supplements, then you may be enjoying the effects of a robust immune system. Vitamin C can also help shorten the duration of colds, help your body absorb iron, improve the condition of your skin, hair, and nails, and promote eye health.
While the benefits of vitamin C are many, taking large doses on a regular basis may raise your risk for developing enamel erosion. This condition causes the enamel on your teeth to weaken, and when this happens, bacteria can get inside your teeth causing cavities. Acid erosion may also limit the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. If you frequently take vitamin C supplements, tell the dental staff. They will examine your teeth for signs of acid erosion and enamel damage, and if found, can implement an effective treatment plan.
If you take fish oil supplements or vitamin C, let your orthodontist or family dentist know. The sooner supplement-related dental problems are recognized and treated, the more likely you will be to enjoy the benefits of your orthodontic treatments.