Vitamin D is critical for good oral health because it helps your body to absorb calcium, and it allows the immune system to function more effectively. If you don’t have enough vitamin D, you cannot absorb enough calcium, a mineral that is renowned for keeping teeth strong and healthy. Your teeth and the bone around them are largely made up of calcium and vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
When you have enough vitamin D, it can help to decrease inflammation potentially and affects the oral microbes associated with gum disease. People with low levels of vitamin D are more at risk of tooth decay and especially gum disease (periodontitis). Also, periodontitis is linked to diabetes and a recent study has raised concerns that periodontitis and a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of type II diabetes.
Ensuring You Get Enough Vitamin D
The easiest way to get enough vitamin D is to make sure your face and arms are exposed to sunlight each day. You only need to sit in the sun for about 15 minutes daily. Foods that contain vitamin D include cod-liver oil, eggs, fish and milk, and some breakfast cereals are fortified with this vitamin. If you are concerned about low levels of vitamin D, it’s best to talk to your GP, and if needed, they can do a blood test to assess your vitamin D levels thoroughly.