Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS March 17, 2016
It’s not a catchy title, but the science is profound.
I have written about the importance of Vitamin D and periodontal disease before. HERE. However, before you start gobbling up Vitamin D supplements to cure gum disease or any other mouth lesions, these five things are a must:
- You must have a dentist carefully evaluate your mouth for gum disease and any other lesions. HERE.
- You must get a blood test to determine your Vitamin D levels. The test is called 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test. HERE.
- You must remove the unhealthy plaque that is growing around your teeth at the gum margins through proper oral hygiene. HERE.
- You must have a hygienist remove any calcified remnants of bacteria (tartar) that can be lodged under your gum tissues doing what splinters would do under the skin of your finger.
- You must change your diet to one that is nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory. HERE.
Importance of Vitamin D
The biochemical functions in the human body are unbelievably complex. It’s like dominos falling. If one domino were to fall, the consequences would be widespread. Vitamin D is no exception. As a matter of fact, Vitamin D plays pronounced and critical roles throughout our human machine. Michael Holick, MD has stated, “Every cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor protein. It’s estimated that upwards of 2,000 genes are directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin D.”
Advanced gum disease causes damage to the jawbone that surrounds the teeth. Periodontitis is the name for this advanced stage of gum disease. Anatomically, teeth are attached to the jawbone by a series of fibers that function in the same way as the strings that support a hammock between two trees. Aggressive bacteria have been shown to damage these fibers and progressively damage the jawbone. What is fascinating is that the destruction of these fibers and eventually the jawbone may be turned off with adequate levels of Vitamin D, as reported here.
Some sores in the mouth may be related to Vitamin D deficiency. Current research suggests that Vitamin D may stop frequent canker sores (aphthous ulcers), which are bothersome ulcerations that pop up on the soft tissues in the mouth. HERE, HERE.
Summary of What To Do
- Have a conscientious dentist examine your mouth.
- Check your Vitamin D blood levels. You should strive for levels of 25(OH)D around 40ng/ml. You could improve your levels by obtaining healthy sun exposure; eating foods like cod liver oil, oily fish like salmon, Portobello mushrooms, and pastured egg yolks; and supplementing with Vitamin D3 plus K2 capsules. The sun and specific foods are the best sources.
- Learn how to clean your mouth effectively, and have any tartar removed from under your gums by a dental hygienist.
- Research and begin a Paleo-type diet and lifestyle.