Discovering How Vitamin D Protects Our Healthy Gums
Vitamin D has been fortified into many of our foods and drinks, but for some people, the nutrients from our diets just aren’t enough to combat deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiencies are highly prevalent among those who are obese, aging and have little exposure to sunlight. Having a lack of vitamin D can lead to many health concerns, including heart disease, cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis, and hypertension. Playing an essential role in our bone and muscle health, vitamin D works to protect our teeth by aiding our bodies in taking in calcium. For our oral health, vitamin D deficiencies can lead to advanced gum disease or periodontal disease. How they contribute to one another comes from the properties that vitamin D holds.
How Vitamin D Protects Us From Gum Disease
Most often, when we think of nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, we think about how these nutrients protect our bones first. If our teeth are weaker, we become more prone to tooth decay as bacteria wear down the enamel and dentin. However, most people often forget about how bacteria can also infect our gums. Gingivitis and early-stage gum disease can sometimes be considered more harmful than cavities due to how the bacteria infect the bloodstream, leading to a greater risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Once it turns into periodontal disease, it can be a risky disease to treat due to the substantial amount of bacteria present in the mouth and bloodstream.
Studies from the American Society for Microbiology have found that Vitamin D does more than just strengthen our bones and teeth. It plays an essentially defensive role in protecting our gums from disease-causing bacteria by:
- Vitamin D contains antibacterial properties that fend off against the streptococcus mutans and other mutans varieties of bacteria in the mouth.
- This vitamin has these antibacterial properties due to how it contains defensins and cathelicidins. These two proteins have the ability to the integrity of the bacteria cell and aid our immune systems in defending against streptococcus mutans and other forms of harmful bacteria.
- When we have sufficient amounts of vitamin D in our system, an active component is called calcitriol. It’s made in the kidneys and serves to strengthen our bones and boost calcium throughout our blood.
- By boosting the amount of vitamin D and calcium in our bloodstream, it helps to reduce the amount of MMP, or metalloproteinases, throughout the blood and oral cavities, including our gums.
Get Your Vitamin D and Visit Your Dentist
By having all of these properties, vitamin D is an essential component to protect our mouths from periodontal disease. Getting enough vitamin D in our diets is important to keep our muscles, bones, and teeth healthy, so if you have a vitamin D deficiency, then you should speak to your primary doctor and dentist so you can learn more about the various ways you can get more vitamin D in your diet. Arrange a visit with your dentist today to protect your teeth and gums from periodontal disease, cavities, and other oral health problems today!