Did you know that Vitamin D could play a role in your oral health? While brushing and flossing are equally important, most people are unaware that this vitamin impacts the health of your teeth and gums. As such, this could be why some people have excellent oral hygiene routines – yet still get tooth decay and gum disease. They might be deficient in Vitamin D, which can lead to these problems.
We appreciate that might not make a lot of sense, so allow us to explain…
Vitamin D & Tooth Decay
A lack of Vitamin D can lead to a higher chance of tooth decay. This vitamin is essential as it helps us absorb calcium. In turn, this lets our bodies build nice and healthy bones. But, what else relies on calcium? Your teeth.
Tooth enamel is made up of calcium and phosphorus, and it protects the dentin below this layer. Here, the dentin has live cells that basically protect your teeth and repair any damages. For example, tooth decay. In effect, it stops your teeth from developing decay – or can at least slow down the growth.
However, none of this is possible without Vitamin D. If there’s a lack of this vitamin, then you don’t provide your body with the tools it needs to protect your teeth and repair any warning signs of decay. In fact, it’s common in some parts of the world for people to have terrible oral hygiene routines, but no decay. Most of the time, this happens in countries that get lots of sunlight, leading to elevated Vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D & Gum Disease
Gum disease is a chronic condition that’s recognisable mainly by bleeding gums. Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or eat, and they are visibly inflamed. What’s interesting is that your mouth is actually part of your digestive system. It’s where the digestive process starts, and there are lots of microbes and immune cells at work here. Interestingly, 80% of your immune system is primed in your digestive system. So, gum disease is sometimes seen as a sign of an immune system issue.
Alongside this, Vitamin D has a critical role in looking after the immune system. It keeps a balance between which immune cells are created to help the body fight back against things like inflammation. If you don’t make enough Vitamin D, then you lack the immune cells to tackle something like gum disease. As a result, you end up with bleeding and inflamed gums.
In conclusion, Vitamin D can help improve your oral health. If you work on supplementing yourself with Vitamin D, then you can prevent things like tooth decay and gum disease. You should still maintain a good oral hygiene routine as well! Don’t assume that Vitamin D is the perfect solution, and all you need to worry about. You’re less at risk of developing decay and bleeding gums with elevated levels of this vitamin, but it is still possible to end up with them.
Overall, the best course of action is to talk to your dentist about Vitamin D. See if they can provide any help or tips on which supplements to take. You can also book a blood test to check your Vitamin D levels and see if you’re deficient or not.