The Importance of Vitamin D for Your (Dental) Health
Normally we think of Vitamin D as “just another vitamin in my daily package,” but the qualities of this vitamin cannot be overstated enough.
First off, Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, it is what’s called a “prohormone” which is a substance that is converted via enzymes to become an anabolic hormone which stimulates protein synthesis, muscle growth and insulin. In simple terms, prohormones help fortify and strengthen your bones and teeth.
Unlike the actual vitamins which are not naturally produced in the body, Vitamin D can be produced by sunlight on the body. In addition, some foods such as most dairy products, fatty fish like salmon, cheese and egg yolks are rich in Vitamin D.
So what does Vitamin D do for your teeth and gums?
When you consider that tooth decay and gum disease are the most common issues with teeth and have already taken epidemic proportions, Vitamin D plays a very important role in preventing decay and gum issues. Vitamin D is crucial to build healthy bones and it allows your digestive system to absorb calcium from your diet. Vitamin D can also repair the underlying layer of your teeth, called dentin, which is important if you’re having receding gums. This key vitamin also manages your immune system which is important in preventing inflammations of your gums.
Many people, especially children, are deficient in Vitamin D. According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanics and 82.1% in African-Americans.1
Signs of deficiency include frequent illness or infections, fatigue and tiredness, bone and back pain, depression and slow healing of wounds.
One particular effect of such a deficiency is inflammation of the gums and bone loss which can greatly affect your dental health. For example, gum disease isn’t just a sign of poor dental health, it’s also a sign of an inflamed immune system. Several recent reports demonstrate a significant association between periodontal health and the intake of vitamin D.2
Your health is important to us and so, rather than just clean your teeth or fill your cavities, we aim to give you deeper and more comprehensive solutions to make and keep your mouth healthy.
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1 Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Forrest KY, Stuhldreher WL.
2 Vitamin D and its impact on oral health–an update. Stein SH, Tipton DA.