Oranges’ Impact On Dental Health

  • Sharaf Ahammed Graduate in MSc Microbiome in health and disease, King's College London
  • Heather Hyde BSc Biomedical Science, University of Birmingham

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Health has been defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be a state of physical, mental and social well-being,1 and therefore, health is not simply an absence of disease. Oral health in particular is very significant in relation to well-being as quality of life can be affected by dental diseases.2 This is because of the impact of oral health on many systemic diseases, including diabetes, respiratory infections, and pregnancy.3,4,5 The impact of oral health in direct correlation to heart disease has been rejected, although there is a correlation between the two, which are suspected to be non-causative and more likely to be linked to other factors at play, such as inflammation or smoking.6,7 Ensuring good dental health improves overall well-being and your general quality of life. 

Teeth play a key role in the digestive system.8 They are the first point of contact when consuming food as the mouth chews, with the help of enzymes released with the saliva. Often, unpleasant breath is linked to oral hygiene, and regular oral care can improve this. Another key oral function is the role teeth play in speech, particularly in children.  As the teeth develop, they impact the ability to enunciate words and develop speaking skills.9 Teeth can also be linked with mental health and self-esteem, with healthier-looking teeth and a brighter smile impacting one’s confidence and body image. One way to maintain good oral health is through the consumption of fruits, and this includes oranges.

Oranges belong to the citrus family, are known for their sweet flavour, and are high in essential nutrients. Oranges are known to be high in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, protects the immune system, and increases the production of collagen.10,11 But oranges are not only a good source of vitamin C; they are also high in vitamin A, potassium and folate. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyesight and skin.12 Potassium regulates blood pressure and helps to maintain healthy nerve function.13 Folate is important for cell growth as it plays a role in DNA synthesis. These are some general benefits of oranges, but they also play a key role in maintaining dental health in various ways.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for oral health, and here are some of the reasons why: 

Scurvy, a disease that leads to bleeding gums, is associated with vitamin C deficiency.14 Often, a poor diet lacking in fruits leads to a lack of vitamin C. Oranges are a good source of this essential nutrient, which protects the teeth from this condition. Therefore, oranges play a role in maintaining gum health. Vitamin C is responsible for collagen formation, which strengthens the structural muscles in the gums, which prevents bleeding.

Vitamin C plays a role in ensuring immune support, boosting the immune response.15 They stimulate the production of immune cells such as phagocytes and lymphocytes, as well as other white blood cells responsible for defence against pathogens. This allows for many other benefits, including aiding wound healing and enhancing immune memory, further strengthening the immune response. Vitamin C also helps the body regulate inflammatory responses as part of the immune response. Extreme levels of inflammation are a response to infection, but they can also cause harm and lead to sepsis. Vitamin C allows the body to reach a homeostasis in which the inflammation levels are controlled. 

Furthermore, vitamin C boosts collagen production which is a structural protein required for the skin. The skin is also part of the immune response as it acts as a physical barrier, preventing the entrance of foreign pathogens as much as possible. It is also an antioxidant which neutralises the harm caused by free radicals, ensuring healthy ageing.  

Like all food, there needs to be moderation in the consumption of oranges. Despite their countless oral health benefits, oranges are high in acids, and excessive consumption can make the teeth susceptible to acid erosion.16 The acid from the oranges can damage the tooth enamel and create sensitivity in teeth. However, this is only true when there is an imbalance of nutrients in the diet. It is hardly ever the case with oranges because, when eaten in consideration, all other benefits can be enjoyed. Tooth erosion due to acid buildup is more common in high consumption of carbohydrates. 

Streptococcus mutans causes the highest number of infections every year, and this is an oral bacteria responsible for dental caries. It is often thought that sweets and high sugar intake will cause this infection. Although that certainly plays a part, by far, the biggest culprit that leads to the progression of this disease is crisps.17 This is because of the nature of crisps and similar snacks, which have a tendency to get stuck in the teeth. When inefficient dental hygiene is observed, which allows these food particles to remain stuck to the teeth surfaces, dental caries and other oral diseases are developed. Consumption of fruits, including oranges, do not have the same level of impact. Not only can they act as a natural teeth whitener because the citrus properties of the teeth reduce some of the surface stains of the teeth,18 they only ever cause a negative impact when eaten at unhealthy excessive levels. It is also worth considering any individual allergies that could outweigh the benefits. 

Oranges are one of the many ways to ensure healthy teeth; however, consumption must be accompanied by good dental hygiene practices. This includes brushing the teeth and flossing regularly. 


Oranges, rich in vitamin C and other essential nutrients, play a significant role in maintaining dental health. Vitamin C strengthens gums, prevents bleeding, and boosts immune function, aiding in wound healing and controlling inflammation. While excessive consumption can lead to acid erosion and sensitivity, moderate intake offers benefits like teeth whitening and protection against dental caries. However, good dental hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, are essential for optimal oral health alongside orange consumption.


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Sharaf Ahammed

Graduate in MSc Microbiome in health and disease, King's College London

I have a strong background in microbiology and an immense love for writing. I have many years of experience in science communication through writing and editing blogs as well as content creation. I am also fond of creative writing, with two published books of poetry which are currently sold online. I wish to share my passion for science through writing. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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