Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Adequate vitamin D may prevent tooth loss

Periodontal disease is a common chronic inflammatory disease and a major risk factor for tooth loss. Research indicates that vitamin D may reduce the inflammatory response that leads to periodontal disease.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrates a link between low blood levels of vitamin D and the incidence of gum disease. The study group included over 11,000 adults over the age of twenty. Eighty percent of those studied had inadequate vitamin D levels, and the lower their vitamin D serum levels, the greater the risk of tooth loss.

Among the men and women aged 50 and older, those with the lowest vitamin D levels had more than 25 percent more tooth loss than those in the highest range. The researchers suspect that vitamin D may cut down on the inflammatory response that leads to periodontal disease. Given the high prevalence of periodontal disease and vitamin D deficiency, these findings suggest important oral health implications related to vitamin D intake.