The Role of Vitamin D in Preventing Periodontal Disease Development
We’re raised being told that Vitamin D is essential to building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. As we get older, we hear about the important role it plays in holding off osteoporosis and keeping us active long into our golden years. Did you know that Vitamin D has another role to play in our oral health as well? This important nutrient is essential to the ongoing health of our gums and has been shown to be a critical component of preventing gum disease.
How Vitamin D Serves To Protect Against Periodontal Disease
It’s almost certain that, during our lives, we’ll become subject to gum disease. Recognizable by its tell-tale signs, puffy, tender gums that bleed when brushed, gingivitis is something we’ll all face. Studies into the dental health of patients over the age of 30 revealed that nearly half of all study participants showed the presence of some degree of gum disease. While gingivitis is clearly a common struggle, periodontal disease is what happens when gingivitis is allowed to worsen. Multiple strains of bacteria have a role to play in periodontal disease, many of which have the potential to cause damage to the jawbone and teeth. It also has the potential to cause reabsorption of the minerals in the jawbone, causing it to shrink and resulting in lost teeth.
So, where does Vitamin D come into play in this pageantry of decay? The Medicina peer-reviewed scientific journal printed a study that gives some important insight into this process. During the development of advanced gum disease, Vitamin D can come to our defense by reinvigorating the immune system and pushing back the conditions onslaught. It also plays an important part in the recovery process, helping to rebuild bone and fighting off disease. It doesn’t end there, though; Vitamin D can also:
- Vitamin D is part of the first line of defense against the microbes that cause periodontal disease. The gingival tissue is defended by Vitamin D’s ability to block the toxins that the bacterial cells release, eliminating their ability to harm nearby cells.
- The bacteria responsible for gum disease come under attack by Vitamin D in the bloodstream, where it can eliminate them when present in sufficient quantities.
- Of the four tissues that play a part in your oral health, Vitamin D is essential to the health of each of them. It also plays a central role in suppressing the loss of bone density.
How To Use Vitamin D To Hold Off Periodontal Disease
Consuming dairy is a central part of getting the right amount of Vitamin D in your diet, but be sure to spend a little time in the sun as well. Just an hour a few times a week with your face, hands, and palms exposed can help your body produce over 10,000IU of Vitamin D. This meets your body’s requirements of 2,000IU in spades. Your physician or dietitian can also provide a subscription for a supplement if needed.