Healthy Living

Vitamin D Helps Prevent Tooth Decay

Child, Teeth, Dental Care
Report blames tooth fairy for missing tooth being stuck in boy's ear for three years. Flickr/Jinx!

Vitamin D not only helps with bone strength but also prevents the teeth from rotting, says a new study review.

The study review included clinical trials on the subject from the 1920s to the 1980s, on approximately 3,000 children between the ages of 2 and 16, from several countries. The review showed that vitamin D was associated with decreased levels of tooth decay.

"My main goal was to summarize the clinical trial database so that we could take a fresh look at this vitamin D question," said Dr. Philippe Hujoel of the University of Washington, who conducted the review.

Although, the importance of vitamin D in managing bone strength has been undisputed, its role in preventing dental carries was doubtful, says a statement from University of Washington.

The American Medical Association and the U.S. National Research Council had in 1950 said that vitamin D was beneficial in preventing tooth decay. However, a few years later, The National Research Council, in 1989 had said that the issue of Vitamin D's role in protecting teeth from decay was "unresolved".

"Such inconsistent conclusions by different organizations do not make much sense from an evidence-based perspective," Hujoel said.

The trials analyzed in the study were conducted in United States, Great Britain, Canada, Austria, New Zealand and Sweden. Children were either given cod-liver oil or other products that increased levels of vitamin D or were exposed to sunlight.

"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.

Researchers caution that the study review has its own limitations.

"One has to be careful with the interpretation of this systematic review. The trials had weaknesses which could have biased the result, and most of the trial participants lived in an era that differs profoundly from today's environment," Hujoel added.

The sunshine vitamin has been linked to many health benefits. Earlier research has shown that a high intake of vitamin D cuts the risk of fractures in older adults. Other research has shown that taking Vitamin D and calcium prolongs life and that deficiency of vitamin D in diet might lead to depression. Also, vitamin D keeps mood swings away and prevents weight gain in women who have hit menopause.

Loading...