How Do Different Vitamins and Micronutrients Affect Our Oral and Overall health PART 2

  • Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin naturally found in very few foods, added to foods and available as a dietary supplement.
  • It is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight hit the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.
  • Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate to enable normal mineralization of bone and prevent hypocalcemic tetany.
  • It is needed for bone growth and remodeling of osteoblast and osteoclasts.
  • Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become brittle, thin, or misshapen. Vitamin D helps prevent Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D and calcium helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin D has other uses in the body; 
- Modulation of cell growth 
- Immune and neuromuscular function – Reduction inflammation
  • Vitamin D status could affect cancer risk. Vitamin D plays a role in prevention of colon, prostate and breast cancers.
  • Research shows vitamin D might play a role in the prevention of type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis.
  • Very few foods naturally have vitamin D: Flesh of fatty fish ( salmon, tuna, mackerel and fish liver oils), small amounts are in beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and some mushrooms, Infant formula contains Vit D, ready to eat breakfast cereals, milk and ice cream

Sun Exposure

  • Sunscreen that is an SPF of 8 or higher block Vitamin D from the sun. An individual requires direct sunlight without sunscreen for 5-30 minutes between 10am-3pm, 2 times per week, to usually lead to sufficient Vitamin D uptake.
  • The use of tanning beds in small doses is also an effective way to gain Vitamin D uptake. (both of these contradict the warnings for sun exposure in regards to skin cancers)

Dietary Supplements

  • A safer way to obtain exposure to vitamin D is through supplements. They are available in 2 forms, based on their ability to cure Rickets. These are through pill form and liquid form. Taken on their own or through food.
  • Past guidelines for Vitamin D levels were between 400-600iu per day. The new upper limit recommendations are 4000iu per day for ages 9 and older and 2000iu for 1-9.

Palm of hand with a variety of vitamins being poured into it.

Interactions With Medications

  • Vitamin D supplements have the potential to interact with several medications. A few examples are:
  • Corticosteroids-prednisone (often prescribed to reduce inflammation). Can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D metabolism. These effects can further contribute to the loss of bone and the development of osteoporosis associated with long term use.
  • Both the weight loss drug Orlistat (Xenical and Alli) and the cholesterol lowering drug Cholestyramine (Questran, LoCholest, and Prevalite) can reduce absorption of Vit D and other fat soluble vitamins.
  • Phenobarbital and Phenytoin (Dilantin) used to prevent seizures, increase the hepatic metabolism of vitamin D to inactive compounds and reduce calcium absorption.
  • Without adequate Vitamin D levels, calcium does very little on its own to strengthen teeth and bones.
  • Vitamin D deficiencies may reside in the teeth of every human being and remain viable for hundreds of years or more. Teeth act as essential fossils and help anthropologists gain information on humans. When the body is deprived of vitamin D, permanent microscopic abnormalities form in the layers of dentin. The dentin creates an ongoing record that can later be read like the rings of a tree. Dentin is not remodeled and the enamel protects the dentin long after death, making teeth a rich and accurate source of archaeological information.

4) Lori D’Ortenzio, doctoral candidate at McMaster University

Pill capsule opened up and shooting out nutritional foods such as vegetables and fruits

For healthier gums try eating more of these foods:

Leafy greens:

Vegetables like kale and spinach are filled with mouth healthy vitamins and minerals. They hold vitamin C, which boosts the production of red blood cells and reduces inflammation. Both these benefits battle against irritation and gum disease. Leafy greens require more chewing, thanks to their high fiber content, which is good for gums because the chewing action creates more saliva. This helps to flush out food particles, bacteria, and plaque that may be sticking to your teeth near the gum line.


Onions have been proven to be a fantastic food for healthy gums because they neutralize oral bacteria. They have microbial properties that target the most common types of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities.

Green Tea:

There is some research which shows that this antioxidant-rich tea can help stave off inflammation in the body. Green tea has specific antioxidants called catechins which help gums fight inflammation caused by the one of the types of oral bacteria responsible for gum disease.

Peppers and citrus fruits:

Vitamin C is also high in vegetables like peppers of all colors and acidic fruits such as oranges, kiwis, pineapple, and strawberries.

Shiitake mushrooms:

Lentinan is an antibacterial compound found in shiitake mushrooms and it fights against plaque-building bacteria in the mouth. This type of bacteria breeds in hard to reach places in the mouth such as in between teeth and along the gum line, and can cause irritation and possibly lead to gingivitis and gum disease. You can incorporate shiitake mushrooms into your meals in a variety of different ways.

Celery, carrots, and apples:

Foods that are very crunchy are excellent at scraping away stuck on food and plaque. The hard bits of foods like celery, carrots, and apples get in between teeth and into tooth crevices and can help keep your mouth fresh between brushings. Crunchy fruits and vegetables also happen to be high in fiber, which, again, means they take longer to chew and generate more saliva. Saliva is great for flushing the mouth of bacteria near the gum line.

Milk, yogurt, and cheese:

Dairy products are great for your gums. This is because of a protein called casein that is found in most dairy products which helps to neutralize oral acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. These acids can be destructive to tooth enamel and gum tissue.

To find our more Contact Smile Dental Centre.

The Smile Dental Centre, dentists in London Ontario offers a full range of general and cosmetic dental services backed by outstanding patient care for children and adults. The Smile Dental Centre won the Consumer Choice Award six years in a row (2013 – 2018) for general and cosmetic dentistry in the London, ON region. Now that’s something to smile about!