A recent review of 24 previous studies, which were conducted on nearly 3,000 children between the 1920s and the 1980s, found that vitamin D may reduce the likelihood of tooth decay by nearly 50 percent.
Review author Philippe Hujoel, Ph.D., D.D.S., M.S.D., M.S. noted that vitamin D has long been regarded as being beneficial for bone health, but there have been conflicting beliefs as to whether it can help prevent cavities. In 1989 the National Research Council deemed vitamin D’s role in dental health “unresolved.” The Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Dental Association have also not issued definitive opinions as to whether vitamin D can inhibit cavity development.
The results of Hujoel’s research, which were based on data from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Austria, New Zealand and Sweden, are in line with current health trends, which show that children who have reduced levels of vitamin D intake also have increased levels of tooth decay. Hujoel noted that expectant mothers and those with young children should be aware of the vitamin’s benefits.
“Whether this is more than just a coincidence is open to debate. In the meantime, pregnant women or young mothers can do little harm by realizing that vitamin D is essential to their offspring’s health. Vitamin D does lead to teeth and bones that are better mineralized,” said Hujoel.
Vitamin D facts
Besides improving dental health, vitamin D plays a crucial role in the physical development of children by staving off rickets, a condition in which the bones become soft and frail and can lead to skeletal deformities, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D also helps with calcium absorption, and low levels of the nutrient can lead to osteomalacia in adults.
People can get vitamin D from fortified cereals and beverages, as well as a Skinny D supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.