Vitamin D for Dental HealthMay 02, 2023 03:00PM ● By Vladimir Gashinsky, DDS
Vitamin D is often considered just another vitamin in our daily routine, but its significance cannot be overstated. In fact, vitamin D is not actually a vitamin; it is a “prohormone,” a substance that is converted by enzymes into an anabolic hormone that stimulates protein synthesis, muscle growth, and insulin production. In simple terms, prohormones help fortify and strengthen our bones and teeth.
Unlike other vitamins not naturally produced in the body, vitamin D can be synthesized from sunlight on the skin. It can also be obtained from certain foods, such as dairy products, and fatty fish like salmon, cheese, and egg yolks, which are rich in vitamin D.
So, what is vitamin D’s role in keeping our teeth and gums healthy?
When we consider that tooth decay and gum disease are the most common dental issues and have reached epidemic proportions, vitamin D becomes crucial in preventing these problems. Vitamin D is essential for building healthy bones and teeth, as it enables our digestive system to absorb calcium from our diet. Moreover, vitamin D can help repair our teeth’s underlying layer, dentin, which is important in cases of receding gums. It also plays a role in managing our immune system to prevent gum inflammation.
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency may surprise you. Unfortunately, many people, including children, lack it. National Institutes of Health data shows that approximately 42% of the U.S. adult population suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Statistics are even higher for people with darker skin. Almost 63% of Hispanic adults and 82% of African American adults are vitamin D deficient.
Despite the high rates, people don’t realize they are vitamin D deficient. Signs of deficiency include frequent illness or infections, fatigue and tiredness, bone and back pain, depression, and slow wound healing.
Vitamin D deficiency causes gum inflammation and bone loss, which can significantly impact dental health. Gum disease, for example, is not just a sign of poor dental health, but also of an inflamed immune system. Vitamin D intake and periodontal (gum) health are strongly associated.
It is possible to treat vitamin D deficiency with supplements. Based on an individual’s condition, healthcare providers will determine how much, how often, and for how long the supplements should be taken.
At Holistic Dental Center, we prioritize the overall health of our patients, and our approach goes beyond just cleaning teeth or filling cavities. We strive to provide our patients with comprehensive solutions to achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
Vladimir Gashinsky, DDS, is the founder of the Holistic Dental Center located at 91 Millburn Avenue in Millburn. For more information and to make an appointment, please call 973-457-4244 or visit HolisticDentalCenterNJ.com. See ad, page 40.