Tooth decay is reaching epidemic proportions in many pediatric populations. Common factors behind its spread include household education, poor oral hygiene habits, and how often these children visit the dentist. Yet a team of researchers has uncovered another potential pitfall: levels of vitamin D.
The research examined data from 1,017 children ages 6 to 11 participating in the Canadian Health Measures Survey, which was a cross-sectional study including physical assessments, laboratory analysis, and interviews. The participants’ levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) also were measured from serum samples.
Overall, 56.4% of the children had caries with a mean decayed/missing/filled teeth score of 2.47. The researchers, then, found a significant association between caries and 25(OH) levels of less than 75 nmol/L in addition to lower household education and brushing and dental visit frequency.
Improving the levels of vitamin D in children, the researchers concluded, could be an additional preventive consideration to reduce the risk of caries. The study, “Vitamin D and Dental Caries in Children,” was published by the Journal of Dental Research.