Sunlight, Vitamin D and Gum disease

Sun exposure and Periodontal Disease
Sun exposure and Gum disease
According to experts, moderate exposure to the sun is enough to maintain a sufficient level of Vitamin D in the body.  It is assumed, that sunbathing twice a week, without sunscreen, for 5-30min between 10 am and 3 pm is enough. There are differences between individuals due to skin pigmentation as well as the location.

A lack of Vitamin D does not only cause Osteoporosis and Osteopenia but also increases the risk of getting infections and inflammations.  In the oral cavity, a lack of Vitamin D can also cause problems: there is a relation between the bone density and the success rate of dental implants. During the development of the dentition, a Vitamin D deficiency can cause malformation of dentine and enamel. The result is a higher susceptibility for decay. 

A study im Norway found a direct relation between sunlight and the risk of periodontal disease.  In the study, it appeared that a link between latitude and tooth loss exists. In the south, only 11% of people lost their teeth while in the central region 43% and in the north 63% suffered tooth loss.  A further correlation exists between cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. 

Sunbathing  – at least twice a week. – Why Vitamin D is so important

Vitamin D is multifunctional and has a variety of important roles to play within the bodies metabolism.  For example, it controls the Calcium and phosphate metabolism and is therefore important for the formation of bone and teeth.

Only a small percentage of Vitamin D comes from exogenous sources, the majority (>80%) is synthesised in the skin.
The Vitamin D-Synthesis requires sunlight (UVB radiation, 290 – 320 nm). After hydroxylation in the liver  25-Hydroxyvitamin, D (25(OH)D) is excreted into the blood plasma. Its half-life is 15 days. After a second hydroxylation in the kidney, the bioactive form is produced.
Moderate sun exposure is enough to maintain a sufficient level of Vitamin D in the body.  It is accepted that exposure on the face and arms, legs or back, twice a week for 5-30 min is enough to produce the required amount of Vitamin D.

In a study with 562 men in the USA, the daily intake of Vitamin D has shown to have a positive impact on periodontal health. Therefore Vitamin D can have a protective function against progressive periodontal disease. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition  Examination Survey (NHANES) indicated that, people with the highest Vitamin D level (25(OH)D showed 20% less bleeding compared to people with the lowest concentration. 

Sources of Vitamin D:
Most important is sunlight. Try to get 15 min sunlight without sunscreen (not more!) every day. What to do in the winter?
Vitamin D rich food:
such as
WILD salmon
Vitamin D fortified milk (Soy, Almond)
And Vit D supplements in liquid form.

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