The winter is here, and with it the cooler weather. While it may not be as cold around here as it gets elsewhere in the country, there can still be a noticeable drop in temperatures – noticeable enough to make people stay indoors and hide. But before you start hibernating until the temperature rises, learn the facts about vitamin D and your oral health.
Vitamin D is a naturally occurring vitamin that humans derive from two main sources: food and sunlight. While most foods do not contain much vitamin D, it can be supplemented to enrich the diet. Most people get the majority of their vitamin D from the other source: the sun. Unfortunately, in the winter, many people tend to hide away from the cold temperatures and, in the process, miss out on the sunlight that helps us produce vitamin D. This makes incorporating vitamin D into our diets (whether through supplements or vitamin D-rich foods) all the more important during the colder months. But why is vitamin D so important, you ask …
D Is for Danger
Vitamin D is a very important vitamin because it is responsible for growing our bones and maintaining their health – and that includes our oral health. In fact, vitamin D deficiency can affect our oral health in a number of dangerous ways.
Because our teeth are bones, the most obvious way a vitamin D deficiency harms our oral health is by weakening our teeth and jaw bones. This can make the jaw and teeth more likely and easier to break.
Also, vitamin D strengthens enamel, helping ward off tooth decay. When your body lacks vitamin D, you are at an increased risk of cavities.
Another way a vitamin D deficiency can harm oral health is gum disease. That’s because when the rest of the teeth are suffering, the gums can easily become inflamed and infected – and that can lead to periodontal disease. All from not going out in the sun!
If you find yourself going outdoors less and feeling sluggish, speak to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement. You can also up your vitamin D intake by eating vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, dark greens and fortified cereals.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call (858) 866-9692.