Zinc for Bad Breath and Your Oral Health
Zinc is one of the most beneficial elements when it comes to maintaining oral health. It’s well known how important fluoride is for dental health; however, fewer people are aware of zinc’s health-promoting attributes.
What Does Zinc Do For Your Teeth?
While zinc doesn’t strengthen your enamel in the same way fluoride does, it can help reduce possible demineralization of your teeth and may even help remineralize your teeth. Because of these actions, it may reduce the chances you will experience tooth decay or have cavities.
Zinc may help you avoid common gum diseases, including gingivitis and other mild periodontal issues. Using a toothpaste or oral rinse that includes zinc ions is a great way to help promote subgingival (below the gum line) health.
Remember, drinking water with fluoride and using a toothpaste with zinc is only helpful if you maintain proper oral care. No amount of fluoride, zinc, or other oral-health-promoting product can overcome skipping oral care.
Zinc and Sulfur Gas
Sulfur gas produced in your mouth by protein-eating bacteria is damaging to soft tissue in the mouth. Smoking is detrimental to oral health because it introduces additional sulfur gas into your oral environment.
Unfortunately, all people experience bad breath (sulfur gas) at some point in their lives. Don’t worry too much, it’s normal. However, many people don’t know the true cause of bad breath. The concerning odor is made up of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), also called sulfur gas. Bacteria feed on the food left in our mouths and release this sulfur gas. Mouthwash with activated zinc can help fight this odor.
Zinc may help reduce tooth demineralization and increase remineralization of the tooth enamel. It’s also good for gum health, and it can help fight bad breath. It’s a beneficial part of a healthy oral-care routine.
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Dr. Elizabeth Clary, D.M.D. is a member of the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, Missouri Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Chicago Dental Society, Greater St. Louis Dental Society, and Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association.