Why is it that there are many people who have perfect teeth with very little maintenance, while others keep having dental issues no matter how often they brush and floss? The answer may be more straightforward than you'd think. Maintaining good oral hygiene isn't the only thing that'll keep your teeth shipshape. You also need to live a healthy lifestyle and get plenty of vitamin D, since without it the calcium levels in your body will be far from balanced.
The Dental Consequences of a Vitamin D Deficiency:
Bleeding Gums & Vitamin D
Gingivitis, also known as bleeding gums, is a sign of inflammation not only within your mouth, but also within many other parts of your immune system. Your mouth is considered to be an extension of your gut microbiome, which is where 80% of your immune system is located.
Much like the gut, the mouth is a place where many interactions between microbes and immune cells take place. Since vitamin D has a vital role in managing your immune system, and controls the quality and quantity of the formation of immune cells, it is an essential component not only of dental hygiene, but of overall immunity as well.
Tooth Decay & Vitamin D
Tooth decay isn't something that is only associated with bad oral hygiene. Plenty of different cultures never even touched a toothbrush and had very little trouble with tooth decay. Much like with gingivitis, the underlying reason for this is the prevalence of vitamin D within the body.
One of vitamin D's main functions is to assist your digestive system in absorbing calcium. This is crucial for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. If enough vitamin D is present, guardian cells are created which help to repair damaged teeth. However, a lack of vitamin D will result in tooth decay gradually worsening, and will go rotten if left unchecked.
How to Manage Your Vitamin D Levels
If you find that you're not getting enough vitamin D, there are quite a few dietary and lifestyle changes that you can choose to adopt:
• Expose yourself to natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes a day, making sure to keep your arms and face exposed.
• Be aware that sunlight isn't able to convert vitamin D in the skin at locations above 37 degrees latitude.
• Have one or two servings of foods rich in vitamin D a day. Ideal foods include fatty fish, eggs, organ meats, milk, and cheese.
• Make an extra effort if you suffer from liver, immune or digestive issues, as these negatively affect your body's conversion of vitamin D.