Your Lincoln, NE children’s dentist would like to share information about the link between vitamin D and cavities.
Did you know that enamel (the outside covering of your tooth) is the hardest and most mineralized substance in the human body? Enamel contains mostly calcium and phosphate. Vitamin D is essential in that it increases the amount of calcium and phosphate you can absorb from the food you eat. This demonstrates a correlation between Vitamin D and cavities.
Improving the strength of our teeth as well as our teeth’s ability to fight demineralization from acid produced by bacteria can be done by increasing the amount of calcium and phosphate our bodies absorb. This same acid and bacteria are responsible for the development of cavities in our mouths. The calcium and phosphate give strength to our enamel, so by getting enough Vitamin D, we can keep our enamel healthy and strong.
In our bodies, Vitamin D receptors are located within the immune system and teeth. Vitamin D works to bind to these receptors, and by doing this, we can bring up the level of good antimicrobial proteins within our bodies. In turn, this helps to combat the bacteria that cause dental cavities. These particular cells also contain Vitamin D receptors, which means that Vitamin D may play a role in their functioning. Vitamin D may also help in the formation of dentin and enamel as our teeth develop if it is consumed during the correct period. This is important to recognize Vitamin D and cavities are connected, and we need Vitamin D to help decrease the risk of cavities. If you are an expectant mother, consult your Lincoln, NE children’s dentist to see when is the best time to supplement to provide the best possible outcome for your developing child’s mouth and teeth.
Vitamin D and Cavities:
What does the research say about cavities or dental caries?
Some research studies have shown that seasons, particularly winter and early spring, seem to be the most common times for individuals to develop cavities. Respectively, these seasons also coincide with the times when individuals are most likely to have the lowest levels of Vitamin D. Those who live closest to the equator with the most sun exposure are less likely to develop cavities as shown in some studies. Thus, one can conclude that cavities are possibly related to both sun exposure and geographic location. Mothers who were commonly found to have lower levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy produced offspring who were more prone to early childhood caries versus mothers who had adequate levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy.
A 2013 review from the US revealed that Vitamin D and cavities are connected by showing that supplementation could result in a 47% reduction of dental caries in children under 13 years of age.
Quite possibly one of the most common topics studied with Vitamin D and cavities connections relates to early childhood caries (ECC) and severe ECC. Children with ECC (early childhood caries) are found to, on average, have lower Vitamin D levels than children who are healthy. Mothers of children who presented with ECC were also found to have been deficient in Vitamin D during pregnancy. If supplemented with Vitamin D while pregnant, some studies show that it was able to reduce the number of enamel defects in their children. Reducing the rate of defects also reduces the risk of dental cavities in children. Studies that also focused on general supplementation of Vitamin D, concluded that it could effectively prevent cavity development.
Taking 1,000 IU per day of Vitamin D is unlikely to cause harm. if you have dental caries, the supplementation certainly cannot hurt as long as you do not exceed the allowed daily maximum. An individual should not take Vitamin D in place of getting cavities fixed, or instead of conventional medication you might receive from your doctor’s office. Your Lincoln, NE children’s dentist would be happy to talk with you about supplements for oral health and cavities. It is always advisable to check with your general practitioner, or your Lincoln, NE children’s dentist, to make sure extra Vitamin D will not have an impact on any medications currently being taken.
Connections of Vitamin D and teeth summaries:
- Vitamin D and cavities are connected by the link between consumption/absorption of vitamin D and the rate of cavities.
- It has been found that Vitamin D supplementation can reduce the rate of cavity development.
- Children who will develop cavities later on in life or have the condition of ECC is typically found to be born of mothers who have low vitamin D levels.
- Risk of a child’s development of ECC may directly depend upon the mothers’ vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
- Children with severe ECC were found to have lower vitamin D levels than healthy children.
Dental/oral health is very important at any age, but if you help your child develop good oral hygiene habits at an early age, they will be more likely to continue them into adulthood. If you would like tips on how to help your child maintain a healthy smile, or you would like advice regarding the best supplements or vitamins, call your local Lincoln, NE children’s dentist.