Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in trace amounts within the body. It is inside your mouth, in your saliva, plaque and tooth enamel.
Does it have a purpose? Let our resident Livonia dentist help you see the tooth about zinc.
What does zinc do for the body?
Your body needs zinc to function and stay healthy. This trace element is responsible for the growth of cells in your body and keep diseases at bay. It can even help your body heal itself more quickly and is needed for the healing of wounds. With malnourished kids, an increased intake of the mineral is used to treat diarrhea and infections. This specific mineral also helps in processing the carbohydrates inside your body, which is later converted to energy.
There are other benefits to maintaining a healthy level of zinc in the body. Zinc is also necessary to your oral hygiene and keeping your teeth and gums in good condition. By consuming food and supplements that contain zinc, you are doing your part in reducing your chances of developing dental caries, bad breath, periodontis and gingivitis, among others.
Where can you find zinc?
Zinc is present in different types of food including beef, eggs, fish and yogurt. Some of the best sources of zinc include cooked oysters, spinach, wheat germ, nuts, pumpkin, chocolate, certain types of mushrooms and squash seeds, among others. In the dental industry, zinc is used for making adhesives and a number of other dental products.
Are there side effects to zinc?
Much like any other mineral, too much zinc in the body can be bad for your health. Zinc toxicity can cause a number of gastrointestinal and urinary complications including diarrhea, nausea and even vomiting. When you have too much zinc in your body, you may notice that you are taking more frequent trips to the bathroom.
How much is too much?
Because zinc is used to make dental products such as adhesives, you need to be more cautious about what foods you eat and how you use the dental products. For instance, if you use dentures, you need to be wary about the amount of adhesive you use.
Only use small amounts of the dental adhesive on your denture. You can apply a thin layer of the adhesive over the denture’s surface or add small dots. As a rough guide, a single tube of the adhesive should last you at least three weeks if you use it every day.
If you feel that your dentures don’t fit, see your dentist to have it adjusted. Having the denture modified is better and healthier than relying on dental adhesive to make the denture fit in your mouth.