Vitamin D Keeps Gum Disease at Bay
By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service
INTELIHEALTH - Vitamin D may protect against periodontal disease, a new study concludes.
The study included 562 men. All were part of a long-term study by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their average age was about 63.
Men were examined at least once between 1986 and 1998. They had dental exams and answered questions about vitamin D intake.
Those who took in at least 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day had a lower risk of periodontal (gum) disease than those who took in less than 400 IU per day. The higher vitamin D intake was linked with a 46% reduction in risk for moderate to severe gum disease. The risk of severe gum disease was 33% lower.
Other studies have linked low vitamin D with periodontal disease. A 2011 study showed that pregnant women with low vitamin D levels had a higher risk of gum disease. Vitamin D deficiency also has been linked with poorer outcomes after oral surgery.
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for adults is 600 IU. It increases to 800 IU for those older than 70.
The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Dental Research.