The less time we spend in the sun, the less vitamin D we get each day. Vitamin D has been reported to have numerous benefits for our health; it supports brain and nervous system function, helps the lungs and cardiovascular system and even helps regulate insulin levels for those with diabetes. However, as it also supports the bones and teeth, vitamin D is a nutrient we personally recommend because of its ability to assist the mouth in protecting against various diseases, including tooth decay and periodontal disease. Many studies have shown that having a lack of vitamin D in our diets can be more detrimental than helpful because vitamin D has some crucial elements to it you might not have known of before.
The Role of Vitamin D For Your Teeth
Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphorus levels within the blood, which assists our body in maintaining healthy bones and muscles. This ability to regulate minerals within our bloodstream gives us the ability to keep our blood pressure low, which in turn gives our bodies numerous benefits for our cardiovascular and lung health. By helping our blood, it essentially assists the blood in being able to manage blood sugar levels and lower our risk for infections. By maintaining this vitamin, we can keep our bones healthy and help avoid bone deformities later on in life.
But for our teeth, vitamin D is an essential component for maintaining our enamel. Our enamel cannot be regrown naturally, so minerals such as fluoride and calcium are used to maintain the health of our enamel for as long as possible. Vitamin D, though, has the ability to maintain the equilibrium of our mouths by reducing bacteria over time and thus protecting our teeth from damage and decay. According to the American Society for Microbiology, vitamin D:
- Defends against streptococcus mutans, a strain of bacteria responsible for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
- It contains anti-bacterial properties called cathelicidins and defensins, which work to reduce the total amount of bacteria in the mouth.
- Reduces metalloproteinases, abbreviated as MMP, which is a contributing enzyme to periodontal disease.
All of these small components of vitamin D make it vital as periodontal disease is one of the largest dental problems people face today. Studies from the CDC report that at least 47% of adults ages 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, and the risk of periodontal disease increases with age. About 9 out of 10 adults over the age of 20 have some form of tooth decay, and at least 69% of adults between the ages of 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth throughout their lives. Because of the increasing risk of dental problems as we age, it’s essential to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D to prevent these problems from becoming worse.
Get Vitamin D and Visit The Dentist
Eating dairy products, basking in the sun for at least 30 minutes, and taking vitamin supplements prescribed by your doctor can help reduce the risk of having a vitamin D deficiency. If you have any problems with your teeth or gums due to a lack of vitamin D, your dentist may be able to help you with a yearly checkup and cleaning.