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Adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy may support dental health of children

May 2, 2014

A new US study reports that a sufficient maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy may positively influence childhood tooth development and health.

The observational study measured blood vitamin D concentrations of 207 pregnant women and the tooth health of their children at the age of one year was documented (1). The study results showed that 33% of the women had deficient levels of vitamin D during pregnancy. The children of the vitamin D deficient mothers had a significantly higher risk of developing an incomplete or defective formation of the organic enamel matrix of the teeth in the embryonic stage (enamel hypoplasia) and/or cavitated early childhood caries, compared to the children of women with higher vitamin D levels.

The researchers commented that inadequate maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy seem to negatively affect tooth calcification, predisposing enamel hypoplasia and early childhood caries (ECC). Dental caries is the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood, caused by the interaction of bacteria, mainly Streptococcus mutans, and sugary foods on tooth enamel (2). ECC is a serious public health problem in both developing and industrialized countries. Children experiencing caries as infants or toddlers have a much greater probability of subsequent caries in both the primary and permanent dentitions. Its consequences can affect the immediate and long-term quality of life.

References

  1. Schroth R. J. et al. Prenatal vitamin D and dental caries in infants. Pediatrics. Published online April 2014.
  2. Çolak H. et al. Early childhood caries update: A review of causes, diagnoses, and treatments. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013; 4(1):29–38.