The Link Between Collagen & Oral Care, From A Holistic Dentist*
We know collagen has benefits for bone health, but, contrary to popular belief, teeth are not actually made up of bones (please tell me I’m not the only one floored by this).* Rather, the outermost layer of your teeth is called the enamel, which is made of calcium and phosphate, not bone (although bone is made up of hydroxyapatite crystals, involving calcium and phosphate, nestled in a collagen matrix—like we said, it’s technical). Alas, the enamel does not have any collagen composition.
However! “As we dive deeper inside the tooth and to the surrounding structures, collagen begins to play a key role,” notes board-certified holistic dentist Staci Whitman, DMD. “Type I, type II, and type III collagens are all found within the pulpal nerve tissues of teeth, likely being secreted by odontoblasts and fibroblasts from within the dentinal tubules and pulpal layers of our teeth.” The pulp is essentially connective tissue that makes up the center of the tooth, and that’s where your collagen resides.
Plus, collagen is crucial for the health of your periodontium, or the structure of gums and bone that support and surround your teeth (so bones do make an appearance!).* Without collagen, in fact, this structure would not even exist. “Our periodontal tissues are composed of primarily collagen, with 60% collagen making up our gingival tissues, 70 to 80% making up our periodontal ligaments (or structures that connect our teeth into the surrounding jawbones), and 90% of the alveolar bone in the jaws,” says Whitman.
All that being said: Collagen has a pretty significant role to play.