Did you ever think that your daily vitamin has benefits beyond your body – your beautiful smile even needs vitamins and minerals. Every vitamin is equally essential and required by your body. However, vitamin D is especially crucial for your oral health as it aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which help rebuild your teeth from the inside.
Vitamin D is critical to your health. It is the number one measure your dentist uses to gauge the health of your teeth and gums.
If you have a vitamin D deficiency, it will increase your risk of tooth decay, gum, and periodontal disease. This holds good for most people. According to stats, every patient who has dental disease also has vitamin D deficiency.
Unfortunately, about 10 percent of the population is deficient in this essential nutrient, which is causing severe problems for their oral and overall health. Vitamin D is essential for your body, and hence we take a deep dive to know more about this vitamin.
Vitamin D and Your Dental Health
Human teeth, as we know, are thought of as inanimate objects that need to be kept clean and polished – similar to a porcelain vase that requires constant cleaning and maintenance. However, unlike vases, our teeth are living, functioning, and form an integral part of our body.
Our body manages minerals primarily guided by the calcium balance and our very own immune system. Both of which are regulated by this essential vitamin. Thus, we see that vitamins play a significant role in maintaining healthy dental health.
Tooth decay and bleeding gums are the two most common measures of your dental health. Tooth decay and the cavity is the most common chronic condition in kids and even adults.
Additionally, bleeding gums are the first indication of periodontal or gum disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder. Studies have proved that gum disease is a sign of your gum health and even symbolizes your gut health. Therefore, what goes on in other parts of your body can also impact your dental health.
The major problem is that most individuals are not aware of how vital vitamin D is for their dental health. Hence this becomes a more significant issue because this vitamin is a fundamental substance for your entire body. If you have not had your vitamin D tested recently, your dentist will recommend you immediately check your vitamin D blood levels.
Vitamin D Definition
You might be aware that one of the essential minerals the human body needs is calcium. It not only makes up and fortifies your bones and teeth but is a crucial substance required to facilitate every muscle movement.
Without calcium, your body cannot function properly. Vitamin D is crucial because it is the substance that can “mine” the calcium out of the foods that you eat. Hence you should consume more of calcium rich foods.
There are mainly two ways your body absorbs Vitamin D. Firstly. You can get the vitamin by exposing yourself to the sunlight. Our bodies actually prepare this vitamin by absorbing UV rays from the sun. However, we still need to absorb vitamin D through the foods we eat daily. The vitamin is also found in pill form, and hence you can consume it in the form of supplements.
Vitamin D-rich food includes dairy products, fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mushrooms, and egg yolks. You must discuss with your dentist your vitamin levels. In case they are low, it is vital to boost them at the earliest. The fastest method is you can take vitamin D supplements. That is how you can reach your recommended levels per day.
In addition, you should also increase your vitamin levels by spending some time in the sun without sunscreen for face every day. Else you can also try eating foods rich in this nutrient.
Fatty fishes, like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, can pack a punch of vitamin D. Also, dairy products like eggs, cheeses, milk, and even mushrooms. You will also look for juices, beverages, and other products like bread fortified with vitamins. The vitamin is so important for the development, growth, and functioning of the human body.
Why Need Vitamin D?
Did you know that vitamin D status could be an indicator of your overall health? The good news is that you can easily get more vitamin relatively cheaply to boost your overall health. So the question is how?
Surprisingly vitamin D and calcium absorption go hand-in-hand. You probably know that this vitamin is vital for healthy bones and also prevents rickets and osteoporosis. To overcome this disorder, fortifying milk came into the market in 1932.
Without adequate vitamin levels, or if you are deficient in the vitamin, your body will only absorb 10-15 percent of the calcium you consume. However, there are many researches ongoing that confirm that this vitamin is powerful for your health in numerous ways.
Many people say vitamin D is not a vitamin at all. In short, it is more accurate to imagine that vitamin D is a hormone than a vitamin. Your vitamin status is an indicator of your overall health.
Primarily because vitamin D is closely linked to nearly every system in the human body. A major responsibility of the vitamin is to improve your intestinal absorption of important nutrients, principally calcium.
Vitamin D is much more than a benefit for your bone health. It also impacts immune system responses, heart health, hormone regulation, and even brain cell growth.
Out of all the 30,000 genes in your body, vitamin D impacts about 3,000 of them. This makes the vitamin important to your epigenetics – the process that relates to gene expression. Even the nerves in your body need this vitamin to carry messages between the brain and other parts of your body.
Tooth Decay: Vitamin D and the Dental Immune System
The vitamin plays a crucial role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Moreover, it helps promote oral health as well. Hence regular intake of vitamin D helps remove the deficiency.
Vitamin D is crucial because it will help to build healthy teeth and bones as the vitamin allows your digestive system to absorb calcium from your diet.
Calcium is the raw material used in combination with phosphorus to create the bony structure that makes up the tooth enamel. Your tooth consists of an outer part called the crown, which is made of enamel. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body and is made up of calcium phosphate.
Just below your enamel is dentin. Dentin contains live cells used to protect all the important nerves and blood supply inside the tooth. The supporting dentin is not as hard as the enamel, which are actually mineralized tissues. The next layer after the dentin is the pulp of the tooth, which contains the blood vessels and nerve for the tooth.
Interestingly, your dentin contains “guardian” cells that sit at the border of your enamel and actively release immune factors. These cells are capable of repairing the damaged dentin, but it is only possible if enough vitamin D is present in your body. Meaning if your vitamin D levels are low or you have a deficiency, then your defense system will not have the fuel to repair and protect your infected teeth.
Bleeding Gums: Vitamin D, Oral Bacteria, and Inflammation
Your dentist will always recommend oral hygiene to prevent gingivitis or gum disease. It is a condition in which your gums are painful, inflamed, and even bleed.
Gingivitis is not only a sign of poor dental health, but it is also a severe symptom of an inflamed immune system. As you know, your mouth is an extension of your gut microbiome – where most of the immune system is present. Like the gut, the mouth is an area where constant interaction between your immune cells and microbes occurs.
Furthermore, vitamin D plays a vital role in managing the immune system. It actively helps in controlling how and which immune cells are formed in your body.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Kids and even adults who are vitamin D deficient are often at a higher risk of tooth decay than others whose levels are normal.
There are basically two forms of vitamin D you can consume or produce internally after sun exposure. They are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. But the label vitamin D refers to both vitamins D2 and D3. The significant difference between these two vitamins is that Vitamin D3 is twice or thrice more potent than D2. Hence D3 is easier for your body to use.
Thus it is noticed that the relationship is linked to both insufficiency and deficiency. Note that the standard test for vitamin D is blood level measurements of 25(OH)D. This means if you have a level below 20 ng/ml, it is considered a deficiency. However, many more studies are required to ensure that you can lower the risk by getting adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Hope you have understood why vitamin D is one of the biggest contributors to your dental health. It can effectively lower the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
You can also manage your vitamin D levels through lifestyle habits and your regular diet. Remember that eating healthy teeth is eating for a healthy body. At your next dental appointment, make sure to ask your dentist about your vitamin D levels.