The Role Of Bananas In Promoting Dental Health

  • Zaynab Karim BS Biochemistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK


Oral health is an important factor in everyone’s day-to-day life. It can impact an individual’s life not only medically but socially, too.1 Without thorough oral hygiene, the bacteria in the mouth can increase massively and can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.  Surprisingly, an individual’s diet is correlated to their oral hygiene. Bacteria called plaque can be formed on the tooth, and this can build up unless regularly removed. This is caused by the consumption of sugar, and an excess amount of this can cause plaque build-up. However, substances such as calcium and phosphorus can protect the enamel (the white outer layer of the tooth). Fibre is also able to stimulate saliva, neutralising the acid on the teeth and reducing the risk of decay. Bananas are a type of food that assists oral health due to their variety of minerals that support tooth health, and this article will discuss this in depth.

Nutritional composition of bananas

Bananas have a range of nutritional benefits. The nutritional composition of 100g of bananas is as follows:

  • 74.9 g Water
  • 5 mg Calcium
  • 27 mg Magnesium 
  • 22 mg Phosphorus 
  • 358 mg Potassium
  • 8.7 mg Vitamin C
  • 12.2 g Sugar
  • 2.6 g Fibre

And other nutrients such as selenium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D 

The following minerals and vitamins support oral health

  • Calcium to strengthen enamel and bones.
  • Magnesium works with vitamin D to provide and form strong enamel.
  • Phosphorus is pivotal for the absorption of calcium.
  • The selenium component is a part of the enamel. 
  • Without vitamin A, the epithelial cells (the thin tissue on the outer layer) that form the tooth are unable to function correctly.
  • Vitamin C secures and protects the inner structure of the tooth and helps keep gums strong.
  • Vitamin K2 helps with vitamin D to direct calcium to the teeth and prevents plaque build-up near saliva glands.
  • Zinc contributes to healthy tooth development and protects the teeth against plaque.
  • Vitamin D absorbs calcium and phosphates to repair enamel.
  • High levels of potassium can prevent tooth loss.2

As seen above, bananas contain most of these vitamins/ minerals, making them a superfood for tooth health. Plus, they are considered to be low in acidity, showing it does not contribute to the damage of enamel.3

The importance of potassium

Potassium directs and uses calcium efficiently, promoting healthy teeth. In addition, it regulates acidity in the blood, this is important as acidic blood removes calcium from the bones, leading to weakened teeth and therefore tooth loss. As seen above, bananas can provide a vast amount of potassium to the diet. A ‘high potassium’ food is categorised as containing 200 mg or more potassium per serving, and as bananas contain more than this, they are an ideal fruit for maintaining strong teeth. 

Additionally, a study was carried out where potassium consumption over 24 hours was measured, and bone mineral density was measured.4 This study aimed to show the link between osteoporosis (a condition which weakens the bones from a deficiency in calcium or vitamin D) and potassium consumption. This study showed potassium was able to prevent osteoporosis in women. This condition is linked to oral health, as another study showed there is a strong correlation between osteoporosis and tooth loss.5

Fibre content and oral health

Moreover, dietary fibre also plays a crucial role in oral health. It was seen that patients who had lost 5 or more teeth had a decrease in their dietary fibre intake and fruit.12 This is because fibres keep the teeth and gums clean due to their ability to promote saliva production. Saliva reduces the effects of acid and enzymes on the teeth while simultaneously restoring the teeth due to the presence of calcium and phosphate. Bananas contain some dietary fibre, as seen above, and the consumption of 100 g of bananas is only a little under the amount needed to be called a source of fibre.

Lack of fibre is also linked with periodontal disease (this affects the structure of the teeth). This disease is linked with gum disease and can have the following symptoms4,5

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

Antioxidants in bananas

Bananas contain various antioxidants such as flavonoids and amines.6 These are beneficial as they help regulate the body's processes and protect it against toxins, as well as providing anti-inflammation properties.7 Antioxidants protect the periodontal tissue (the structures around the teeth), neutralising the reactive species on the surface. This component reduces the build-up of plaque on the teeth and prevents gum disease.

Antioxidants in bananas include vitamin C, which maintains and repairs the tissues in the mouth and strengthens the gums. Bananas also contain selenium; this strengthens sulfur in the teeth and ensures a reduced chance of dental decay.  Plus, they also contain vitamin E, which helps repair the gums by destroying plaque (the bacteria around the tooth) and reduces the risk of bleeding gums.

Bananas versus other snack options

 Bananas aren’t the only food for improved oral health. A few items include:8

  • Cheese, milk, and yoghurt- these are low in sugar and high in calcium. It contains a protein which strengthens the enamel and maintains bone density. It also contains high levels of phosphate that balance the pH levels in our mouth, creating less acidic conditions. Plus, it increases saliva production, like bananas.
  • Celery, carrots, and crunchy vegetables- crunchy vegetables are favourable as they need to be chewed thoroughly. These products contain a lot of water, which cleans the surface of the tooth while also destroying bacteria. They also prevent cavities due to their high vitamin C and calcium content.
  • Leafy greens- contain calcium and folic acid, which maintain the teeth and gums.
  • Apples and pears-  promote gum health and reduce the risk of cavities as they increase saliva production.
  • Nuts- these contain calcium and phosphorus, which destroy bacteria against tooth decay.
  • Meat and fatty fish- this increases the production of saliva and washes away food particles which cause decay.
  • Cranberries-  Contain antioxidants which disable the formation of plaque.
  • Strawberries- contain antioxidants and strengthen the teeth.
  • Broccoli- contains vitamin C, which promotes bone health.
  • Kiwi-  contain vitamin C for bone health.
  • Sweet potatoes- contain vitamin A to maintain the gums.
  • Garlic and onions- fight tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Whole grains- disable the growth of bacteria in the teeth.

Bananas may outweigh all these other superfoods, as they are filled with fibre and antioxidants, which not only inhibit the formation and build-up of plaque but also allow the production of saliva to combat plaque. Whilst other foods may share these characteristics, bananas contain all these benefits in one.

There are many ways to incorporate bananas into your daily diet, including:

  • Smoothies- putting this fruit in your smoothie is an easy way to add various fruits and vegetables into your diet.
  • Banana cake/ bread- if you prefer sweeter food, try making banana bread or cake to satisfy your sweet craving.
  • Banana with porridge- this is a great way to start the day; top your porridge with bananas to give your dish extra fibre.

Consideration for dental health

Oral hygiene is an important factor in day-to-day life. Some ways to protect your oral health include:9

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing
  • Eating a healthy diet and limiting sugar
  • Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months
  • Go to the dentist regularly
  • Avoid tobacco

These dental hygiene practices are pivotal against gum disease and tooth loss. If you are in any doubt or exhibit any unusual symptoms, consult with your dentists for personalised advice. 


In conclusion, bananas have a range of roles, but they are very beneficial for the teeth. With their long list of nutritional benefits, they contain vitamins and minerals that promote oral health and are shown to contain more of these qualities than any other fruit or vegetable. From potassium to fibre to antioxidants, all these components come together to create the perfect fruit for oral health, which can easily be incorporated into the diet. Overall, bananas play a crucial role in maintaining oral health, offering a range of benefits for the protection of teeth.


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  2. Kim EJ, Lee HJ. Association between low potassium intake and the number of teeth in Korean adults: based on the national data (2013–2015). Sci Rep [Internet]. 2021 Feb 4 [cited 2023 Oct 24];11:3058. Available from: 
  3. Herdiana Y. Functional food in relation to gastroesophageal reflux disease(Gerd). Nutrients [Internet]. 2023 Aug [cited 2023 Oct 24];15(16). Available from: 
  4. Ha J, Kim SA, Lim K, Shin S. The association of potassium intake with bone mineral density and the prevalence of osteoporosis among older Korean adults. Nutr Res Pract [Internet]. 2020 Feb [cited 2023 Oct 25];14(1):55–61. Available from: 
  5. Kapoor N, Cherian KE, Pramanik BK, Govind S, Winford ME, Shetty S, et al. Association between dental health and osteoporosis: a study in south Indian postmenopausal women. J Midlife Health [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Oct 25];8(4):159–62. Available from:
  6. Hung HC, Willett W, Ascherio A, Rosner BA, Rimm E, Joshipura KJ. Tooth loss and dietary intake. The Journal of the American Dental Association [Internet]. 2003 Sep [cited 2023 Oct 25];134(9):1185–92. Available from:
  7. Amini Khoozani A, Birch J, Bekhit AEDA. Production, application and health effects of banana pulp and peel flour in the food industry. J Food Sci Technol [Internet]. 2019 Feb [cited 2023 Oct 26];56(2):548–59. Available from:
  8. Ullah A, Munir S, Badshah SL, Khan N, Ghani L, Poulson BG, et al. Important flavonoids and their role as a therapeutic agent. Molecules [Internet]. 2020 Nov 11 [cited 2023 Oct 26];25(22):5243. Available from:
  9. Qi F, Huang H, Wang M, Rong W, Wang J. Applications of antioxidants in dental procedures. Antioxidants (Basel) [Internet]. 2022 Dec 18 [cited 2023 Oct 26];11(12):2492. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Zaynab Karim

BS Biochemistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Zaynab, a biochemistry graduate, possesses a robust background in writing and presenting information for the lay audience. With previous experience in crafting articles, she enthusiastically explores the captivating realm of medical 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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