Recent research has found that pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D give birth to children whose tooth enamel is weak, and who are at much higher risk of dental caries (cavities).[i] It is also known that in northern areas, vitamin D deficiency correlates to poor development of tooth enamel.[ii]
It is shocking that this relationship has not been promulgated to the dental profession for decades, because it is hardly new; the earliest research goes all the way back to 1934! The studies on sunlight and dental cavities were reviewed by Dr. Zane Kime[iii] in 1980; one showed a direct correlation between hours of available sunlight per year and the number of dental caries in Caucasian boys 12 to 14 years of age. In geographic areas with less than 2,200 hours of available sunlight, there were 486 cavities per year per each 100 boys. In areas where there were 3,000 or more hours of sunlight, there were only 290 cavities per year per hundred.[iv] The frequency of cavities was also higher in winter than in summer months.[v] Why would this be? In summer, large quantities of vitamin D is produced by exposure to sunshine, and the more the exposure, the greater the vitamin D production. In winter there is little vitamin D production. Still other research showed that 1,000 IU daily of vitamin D in children stopped cavity formation in its tracks.[vi]
Nevertheless, the "Powers of Darkness” continue to spew their anti-sun propaganda and it is they who are primarily responsible for much of the poor dental health and other disasters that plague our children and our adults who hide from the sun.
In winter, vitamin D levels must be maintained at high levels (40-60 ng/ml) to protect teeth. For those not willing to use a tanning bed, supplements (3,000-5,000 IU per day of D3 for adults) are necessary to maintain healthful levels. Remember always to avoid burning in the sun or from excessive exposure to tanning beds or sun lamps.
[i] Schroth, R. et al. Influence of Maternal Vitamin D Status on Infant Oral Health. Presentation at the General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, Toronto, Canada, July 4, 2008.
[ii] Schroth, R. Prevalence of caries among preschool-aged children in a northern Manitoba community. J Can Dent Assoc. 2005 Jan;71(1):27.
[iii] Kime, Z. sunlight Could Save Your Life. World Health Publications, Penryn, CA 1980 pp 180-81.
[iv] East, B. et al. Mean annual hours of sunshine and the incidence of dental caries. Am J Pub Health 1939;29:77.
[v] McBeath, E. et al. The role of vitamin D in control of dental caries in children. J Nutr 1938;15:547.
[vi]McBeath, E. Vitamin D studies, 1933-1934. Am J Public Health Nations Health 1934;24:1028-1030.