For Oral Health, a Little Vitamin D Goes a Long Way

While many know that a good amount of vitamin D is essential for healthy living, they may not know that vitamin D is also linked to better overall oral health!

Not only does vitamin D lower the rate of tooth decay, it also helps to prevent other diseases of the gums such as gingivitis. One study conducted showed that children who were given a vitamin D supplement on a daily basis had fewer cavities throughout the study than those who did not take the supplement.

Researchers have also stated that over 80 percent of Americans do not get enough vitamin D each day. There are a few factors related to this. For one, not enough time is spent in the sun to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from its rays. Also, because of the fear of skin damage, people spend much of their time in the sun covered in strong sunblock and large hats. The fast paced life that leaves many families opting for processed food, which lacks much nutrition, is also a reason why vitamin D is very low in the average American. These factors alone show how the amount of tooth decay in Americans continued to increase over the years, as sun exposure fears and quick meals become more popular.

Even if proper dental care is practiced, which requires brushing three times each day and flossing twice, tooth decay will still occur if the person has low levels of vitamin D. Doctors are suggesting that those who are experiencing frequent bouts of tooth decay, regardless of their good dental hygiene, take the steps needed to increase the amount of vitamin D in the system. Also, a simple blood test can show how low the levels are and a stronger supplement of vitamin D can be prescribed to bring up levels of the vitamin.

Some people are able to absorb nutritional supplements better than others, so different methods of obtaining sufficient levels of vitamin D are recommended. These methods include: spending 10 minutes in the sun each day without sunblock, eating foods high in vitamin D like fish, and drinking at least two glasses of milk each day. Each of these methods can be done with or without a vitamin D supplement, but the proper amount of vitamin D that a person should have each day is between 2,500 and 4,000 IU each day, depending on age. These levels mean that all methods should be combined in order to reach peak levels, as many vitamin D supplement only provide 2,000 IU and not all of that will be absorb.

Following these steps will have many different health benefits for a person, including the possibility of less tooth decay, healthier gums, and better overall oral health!  A little vitamin D goes a long way to help overall oral health!