Vitamin D May Help Gums and Teeth

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2011-06-20 11:13

Could adding more vitamin D to your life improve the health of your gums and teeth? A new study suggests vitamin D can fight bacterial infections that attack the gums and lead to gingivitis and tooth loss.

Vitamin D may improve your smile

Dental health in the United States is in trouble. Tooth decay affects children more than any other chronic infectious disease. Left untreated, it can cause pain and infections that can jeopardize the ability to eat, speak, and learn. Nearly one-third of adults have untreated tooth decay, and about 75 percent have gingivitis, which is inflammation or infection of the gums.

If gingivitis is not treated promptly or at all, the infection and inflammation can spread from the gums to the ligaments and bones in the jaw, resulting in periodontitis. This dental problem is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.

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In previous research, Gill Diamond of the New Jersey Dental School in Newark found that vitamin D can cause lung cells to produce a natural antibiotic that can kill bacteria. Diamond and colleagues have now shown that vitamin D has the same impact on cells in the gums (gingival).

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