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Adequate vitamin D levels may help reduce the risk of periodontal disease

At a Glance: Adequate vitamin D levels may help reduce the risk of periodontal disease, which in turn reduces the risk of tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is a common chronic inflammatory disease and a major risk factor for tooth loss. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has demonstrated a link between low blood levels of vitamin D and the incidence of gum disease.

The study group included over 11,000 adults over the age of twenty. Eighty percent of those studied had inadequate vitamin D levels, and the lower their vitamin D serum levels, the greater the risk of tooth loss. Among subject participants age 50 and older, those with the lowest vitamin D levels had 25 to 27 percent more tooth loss than those in the highest vitamin D range.

The researchers suspect that vitamin D may cut down on the inflammatory response that leads to periodontal disease. Given the high prevalence of periodontal disease and vitamin D deficiency, these findings suggest important oral health implications related to vitamin D intake.

Dietrich T, et al. Association between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and periodontal disease in the US population. Am J Clin Nutr 80(1):108-13.

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