Eating a healthy diet is an essential part of practising good oral hygiene. By ensuring you get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients your body requires and limiting any foods and beverages that can damage your teeth, your body can better protect your oral health. But is vitamin K2 one of those vitamins that can benefit your teeth and gums? And if so, is taking a supplement beneficial? We'll give you some crucial details about vitamin K2 so you can make choices for your oral health that you can smile about.
Does Taking Vitamin K2 Benefit Your Oral Health?
Vitamins are essential for your body to perform a variety of essential functions. Most people can get enough vitamins by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, and you can use vitamin supplements if you aren't getting enough of them through whole foods.
Vitamin K is absorbed with fats in your diet and is stored in your body's fatty tissue (it's fat-soluble). This vitamin comes in two types – vitamin K1 (the chemical compound phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (the chemical compound menaquinone).
Vitamin K is essential for strong, healthy bones and plays a vital role in blood clotting. A study published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal says that vitamin K2 is also useful in keeping blood vessels' walls clear of calcium deposits.
So far, there haven't been any scientifically valid human studies on the effects of vitamin K2 on oral health. There have only been discussions and hypotheses put forward about the potential benefits of vitamin K2 for your teeth, such as one published in Medical Hypotheses, a medical journal released by Dutch publisher Elsevier. This hypothesis suggests vitamin K2 may play a role in preventing cavities; however, more research needs to be conducted on the subject.
According to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, you can get the recommended amount of vitamin K by eating a well-balanced diet, and the recommended daily amount depends on age, sex, and whether or not you're a woman who is breastfeeding:
- 0-6 months 2 micrograms
- 7–12 months 2.5 micrograms
- 1–3 years 30 micrograms
- 4–8 years 55 micrograms
- 9–13 years 60 micrograms
- 14–18 years 75 micrograms
- Adult men 19 years+ 120 micrograms
- Adult women 19 years+ 90 micrograms
- Pregnant/breastfeeding teens 75 micrograms
- Pregnant/breastfeeding women 90 micrograms
An article published by Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in the United States, references various studies in which vitamin supplements have been shown to have a negligible effect on the health of the participants. They recommend eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and minimising the sodium, sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats that you eat to best care for your health.
The Mayo Clinic echoes the sentiment, recommending vitamin supplements only if you can't get certain vitamins in your regular diet. For instance, if you're a vegan or vegetarian, you may not get enough vitamin K2 without eating any meats or cheeses. Some medical conditions may require vitamin supplements if you aren't able to absorb enough nutrients naturally.
If you have any questions about vitamin K2, your health and dental professionals can provide you with the best recommendations for your individual needs.
Learn about healthy foods for your teeth.
Vitamin K2 does have some essential benefits, but the impact of K2 on oral health is yet to be proven. You should receive a sufficient amount of menaquinones with a healthy diet, and the best way to take care of your oral health is by practising good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthwash and tongue scrapers. And be sure to see your dental professional for regular appointments. Vitamin K2 may not be a supplement that's known to protect your oral health at this time, but practising good oral hygiene is a perfect supplement to make you smile.