Whether jogging in the park or playing in the yard with your kids, the vitamin D we get for sun exposure has a positive effect on our health. The vitamin D we absorb from the sun assist in fighting depression, strengthening our bones, and even lowering blood pressure. Sunshine also helps maintain good oral health. Most people aren’t aware that vitamin D promotes good dental health by helping to prevent cavities. Your Lake Orion dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield, explains why a little sunshine goes a long toward healthy teeth and gums.
Recent Studies on Vitamin D and Tooth Decay
In the past, there were controversies over the effect vitamin D had on cavity prevention. Some argued there was no correlation while others insisted vitamin D could help prevent cavities. In 2011, Dr. William Grant of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center (SUNARC) analyzed the results of 325 scientific studies about the effect of vitamin D on tooth decay. Some of the studies dated back to the 1800s.
According to Dr. Grant, the results showed: “Cavities are significantly more common in geographical regions with lower levels of UV radiation intensity than in regions with higher levels. UV radiation encourages the production of vitamin D, and vitamin D in turn, is the motor for producing anti-microbial peptides which prevent cavities from forming.”
Vitamin D promotes strong teeth in much the same way it strengthens bones, by increasing calcium production. Vitamin D has also been shown to aid in prevalence of specific antimicrobial peptides that target the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. A little time in the sun gives patients a real advantage against cavities.
Boost Your Vitamin D
Get outside! The fresh air will not only makes you feel better, but exercise is good for your heart and your teeth. Other ways of increasing your vitamin D include taking approved supplements and eating foods containing fish, egg yolk, and fortified dairy products.
Always Maintain Good Oral Habits
While getting out in the sun gives you an advantage, preventive care is required for warding off tooth decay. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugars and starches. These increase the amount of harmful bacteria and acids in your mouth. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once will remove bacteria, plaque, and food particles caught between teeth. In addition, attend regular checkups and cleanings, this allows Dr. Greenfield and our team to watch for the early warning signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Following these simple measures will help you avoid expensive and invasive procedures, as well as promote good overall health.
Schedule a Visit with Your Lake Orion Dentist
If you are having oral health issues, or just need a cleaning, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry at 248-693-6213 today to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve families from Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, and Rochester Hills, as well as many other areas in southeast Michigan.