There is little question that, in many ways, we are what we eat. Our diet fuels our metabolism and our body’s health. A diet that lacks certain vitamins and minerals can cause problems, especially dental problems.

That is the point made by Dr. Victor Alapoint, a registered dentist at My Dental Clinic in Dublin, Ireland, in a column titled “8 Ailments your dentist can diagnose, just by looking in your mouth.” The column was published on independent.ie, the website of the Independent, Ireland’s largest selling daily newspaper.

For instance, Dr. Alapoint says vitamins D and B and zinc are especially important for oral issues. Vitamin D absorbs calcium, needed to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. B vitamins are important for your tongue and lips.

As for dry mouth? “Too little zinc can leave you open to gum disease, dry mouth and loss of sensation in your tongue.” He suggests salmon and eggs are good sources of zinc and vitamin D, “so treat yourself to eggs benedict.”

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