When many individuals think about how their diet affects their teeth, they primarily consider if the food they eat contains compounds that are known to promote tooth decay. However, this is not the only consideration. On the other hand, foods might have an impact on your teeth and gums from the inside out as well. When you do not consume enough foods that contain particular nutrients that are crucial for dental and gum health, vitamin deficiencies can occur, which can be detrimental to your oral health.
Nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals are essential for our entire health; therefore, from a holistic dentistry perspective, they would be beneficial for dental health as well. Their impact on dental health, on the other hand, goes beyond the basic benefits they provide for leading a healthy lifestyle.
What Are Tooth Caries
When it comes to teeth, they are typically thought of as lifeless objects that must be polished and cleaned on a regular basis, similar to a porcelain vase that requires constant superficial maintenance. Teeth, on the other hand, are a living, functioning component of your body, as opposed to porcelain vases.
Cavities, caries, or decay in the teeth are caused by the erosion of the enamel and dentine of the teeth. Many tests have revealed that nutritional shortages during tooth development can affect the tooth’s structure, increasing the likelihood of childhood tooth decay.
Tooth decay is the most frequent chronic illness affecting children under the age of five. Regular dental and hygienist appointments are vital for preventing tooth decay and keeping teeth in good condition. A dentist will inspect the teeth and identify any problems that may be present.
Recent studies have found an inverse relationship between vitamin D and childhood dental caries; however, it is unclear whether this is causal.
What Are Vitamins
Vitamins are substances that are naturally found in whole foods. Vitamins such as A, D, E, K, C, and B are among the necessary nutrients. When we eat certain meals, our bodies absorb certain nutrients, which they then employ to perform critical functions. Even while every vitamin is crucial for our overall health, Vitamin D is particularly important for our oral health since it aids in absorbing calcium and phosphorous, which both aid in the rebuilding of our teeth from the inside. The unfortunate reality is that approximately 10% of Americans are low in this crucial nutrient, which is causing difficulties with their oral and overall health.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Calcium is one of the most critical minerals our bodies require for proper function. It is not only necessary for the formation and strengthening of our bones and teeth, but it is also needed to facilitate every muscle movement we do on a molecular level. The way the body regulates minerals is directed by calcium balance, and the immune system, both of which are regulated by vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to function properly.
Vitamin D is so vital because it is the ingredient that allows us to “mine” calcium from the foods that we eat, allowing it to be transported to the rest of our bodies via Vitamin C in the bloodstream. In order to absorb Vitamin D, we must first expose ourselves to sunlight. This is the most common and well-known method of obtaining Vitamin D. As a matter of fact, our bodies produce vitamin D by absorbing ultraviolet rays – which is incredible in and of itself; nevertheless, we must still obtain vitamin D through the foods we consume. Vitamin D is commonly obtained in tablet form and as an additive to dairy products, but it can also be found in mushrooms, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, and egg yolks, among other foods.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Oral Health
Nutritional supplementation with vitamin D is required for the proper function of calcium and phosphate in the body, both of which are needed to produce tooth enamel in the normal course of events. Dental cavities were shown to be less common in children whose vitamin D levels were high, according to research.
In difficult situations, a vitamin D shortage can result in underdevelopment of the outer and inner layers of the tooth and the loss of the tooth. Infants who are solely breastfed have a higher chance of developing the difficulties associated with vitamin D insufficiency than other infants.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with several other major health concerns. A deficiency in vitamin D in the bloodstream can result in skeletal, muscle, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases and cancer, among other things.
After years of research, it has been determined that a person should consume 200-600 International Units of vitamin D each day to avoid deficiency. To get a deeper perspective, there are 100 IU of vitamin D in one cup of milk, which is equivalent to 200-600 IU of vitamin D. The fact that our teeth are composed of bones makes it obvious that the amount of vitamin D we consume is vital for our oral health. Lack of vitamin D can result in dental cavities and weak or brittle teeth that are more prone to breaking, chipping, and cracking. A randomized controlled research involving 2,827 children discovered that children who got vitamin D supplements had a 47 percent reduction in the number of cavities. This is highly significant because it demonstrates how, by preserving your teeth from the inside out by providing your body with all it requires, you may prevent cavities, which in turn prevents the possibility of tooth loss and subsequent dental problems.
What You Can Do
The importance of discussing your vitamin D levels with your primary care physician cannot be overstated. If they are at a low level, raising them as quickly as possible is critical. Taken as a supplement, you can easily meet the daily requirement of 400 international units of vitamin D. You may, however, increase your vitamin D levels by spending a few minutes each day in the sun without sunscreen and by consuming foods that are high in the nutrient, such as eggs. Fatty fishes like tuna, mackerel, salmon, and sardines, among others, can provide a significant amount of vitamin D. In addition, eggs, milk, cheeses, and mushrooms should also be regular in your diet. Because vitamin D is so critical to human growth, development, and function, you will also find it in fortified juices and other items such as bread, among other things.
One of the most significant aspects of maintaining good dental health is vitamin D intake, which can lower the risk of tooth caries by as much as 50%. You may control your vitamin D levels by adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating nutritious food. Maintaining good oral health is synonymous with maintaining good overall health. Make a point of asking about your vitamin D levels at your next dental checkup.