Vitamin D Shows Promise For Preventing Tooth Decay
Everyone faces the challenge of taking care of oral health. Nearly 26% of children between ages 6 and 11, about 59% of adolescents between 12 and 19, and 92% of adults 20 years and older suffer from dental caries (tooth decay) in one or more teeth. Regular oral hygiene combined with two dental cleanings per year can make a huge difference, but what if you could do more to protect your teeth? Studies have found a connection between vitamin D levels and the presence of tooth decay.
Studying the Sunshine Vitamin in Children
Expecting mothers will be happy to hear that increasing their prenatal vitamin D intake could protect their child from tooth decay. A study published in May 2014 found that inadequate prenatal vitamin D levels might affect tooth calcification and make children more prone to tooth decay. 207 pregnant women from an economically disadvantaged urban area completed a prenatal questionnaire and gave a serum sample to check vitamin D levels. When children turned 1 year old, they had a dental examination to check for dental caries.
Of the 207 participants, 33% had deficient vitamin D levels. For dental health, 23% of children had tooth decay in one or more teeth, and 22% showed thin enamel, which increases the chances of tooth decay. An analysis of the data showed that mothers of children with dental caries had significantly lower vitamin D levels than mothers whose children had no dental caries. Other studies, including a study published in April 2015, show similar results. You should speak with your prenatal doctor before adding vitamin D to your diet to avoid vitamin D toxicity that could harm you or your baby.
Vitamin D and Your Teeth
Even people who are not preparing for a new family member could benefit from increased vitamin D intake. Researchers published a study in October 2014 that focused on the relationship between vitamin D and calcium levels and the occurrence of dental caries in young women. They evaluated calcium and protein intake, and vitamin D levels in 106 women in their early to mid 20s. Researchers assessed the women’s’ oral health by determining their number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth.
More than half (59%) of the women showed deficient calcium levels, and 71% had low vitamin D levels. The women with the highest number of caries had the lowest calcium and vitamin D. It is possible that vitamin D does not directly affect dental caries, but has a causal relationship. Your body uses vitamin D to collect and store calcium and other minerals to promote strong bones and healthy tooth enamel. Lower levels of this important vitamin could result in lower calcium absorption.
Repairing Damaged Teeth
These studies offer significant evidence that increased vitamin D intake could lower your risk of tooth decay. Although this is good news for parents and people without cavities, it doesn’t help those who already have tooth decay. At Park Meadows Dental Care, we offer tooth colored fillings to stealthily repair your decayed teeth. Unless you tell people, no one will know that you ever had a cavity.
We use porcelain dental crowns to protect teeth that are too badly damaged by decay for a filling. We carefully match each crown to the surrounding teeth so that it looks natural. Porcelain dental crowns are durable so that they effectively protect the damaged tooth from further damage or advanced decay that could compromise your overall health.
To learn more about preventing or repairing tooth decay for you and your whole family, please call 303-759-5652 today to schedule an appointment with a Denver cosmetic dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.