Vitamin D's reputation continues to grow and flourish. Studies have been subject to a new review, indicating that vitamin D was linked with a 50 percent reduction in tooth decay in 3,000 children who were studied.
Reviewers from the University of Washington believe they have seen significant results that support the idea that vitamin D reduces dental cavities.
The study consisted of 24 controlled clinical trials that began in the 1920s and ran till the 1980s. Trials were performed on children between 2 and 16 years of age in Austria, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.
It's not news that vitamin D contibutes to bone health. But the question as to whether or not it makes a difference in development of cavities has been up in the air for many years.
The American Medical Association and the U.S. National Research Council has said that vitamin D does help control dental cavities. The American Dental Association has disagreed with this conclusion.
Dr. Philippe Hujoel of the University of Washington, who conducted the review, conceded that the trials had weaknesses and that things have changed dramatically in our environment from that earlier era.
He said however, that while there is room for debate concerning the findings, it wouldn't hurt mothers and pregnant women to be aware of the importance of vitamin D for their children's teeth and bones.
Hujoel is a professor in the University of Washington School of Dentistry's Department of Oral Health Sciences and an adjunct professor of epidemiology in the UW School of Public Health. The review was published in the December edition of Nutrition Reviews.
Dr. Michael Hollick, professor of medicine at the Boston University Medical Center, agreed with the findings of the study. He said that children with low vitamin D levels also are at high risk for cavities.
PubMed said that there is a significant link between vitamin D levels and periodontal health, and that it is possible that vitamin D may enhance oral health.
Cavities are tiny holes that have permanently damaged the tooth's surface.