Of all the vitamins we hear about growing up, Vitamin D is one of the most prominent. This is due to how it helps us grow up healthy, with strong bones and teeth. As the years have gone by, our understanding of this vitamin has grown. Today we know that its role in oral health is more than previously understood. Recent studies have revealed that it can help prevent periodontal disease. In addition, it can help our body fight it off when it’s already present. These properties mean that getting sufficient Vitamin D is more essential than before. With enough Vitamin D, you’ll have great teeth, bones, and gums!
How Vitamin D Aids Prevention Of Periodontal Disease
Its ability to aid in our body’s use of calcium is one of the properties of Vitamin D that makes it important. The efficient use of this mineral, along with phosphorous, ensures that our bones and teeth grow well. Research has revealed that it also creates an environment hostile to Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria is the primary agent in tooth decay and the development of gum disease. It becomes a significant cause for concern when it gets beneath the gumline. From there, it can infect our roots, damage teeth below the gum line, and even cause our jawbone to decay. In the most concerning cases, the infection can spread to our bloodstream. At this point, it becomes life-threatening.
The molecular components that makeup Vitamin D bring other benefits to our oral health as well.
- Antibacterial Properties: One important discovery was the antibacterial properties of Vitamin D. Getting enough of this nutrient can help our body fight off bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans. This makes it essential to good oral health.
- Defensive Proteins: Vitamin D contains proteins known as cathelicidins and defensins. These substances serve to enhance our immune system and work with our white blood cells to destroy bacteria. They do this by compromising the integrity of the bacteria’s cellular wall.
- Calcitriol: Also found in Vitamin D, this substance plays a central role in bone and tooth health. It enhances the amount of calcium in our system, making it available to repair damaged areas. Our kidneys are a primary producer of calcitriol. They need enough vitamin D to do so efficiently.
- Reduces Metalloproteinases: Metalloproteinases are a central part of the vitamin D puzzle. These proteins are partially responsible for the development of gum disease. Vitamin D is able to eliminate its presence in our body. As a result, we’re less prone to gum disease when we get enough.
This list represents the most recent discoveries regarding Vitamin D. They demonstrate how this nutrient works in our body to protect it. Ongoing research continues to find new information that highlights our body’s complexity.
Steps To Getting Sufficient Vitamin D
If you’re a sun lover, you’re in luck. Vitamin D happens to be naturally produced in the body when our skin is exposed to the sun. Just a few hours of sun a few days a week will produce enough to meet your needs. If you’re a night owl or sensitive to sunlight, there are other options. These include full-spectrum lighting, Vitamin D tablets, or choosing foods that are high in Vitamin D. Speak to your dentist for further guidance.