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Vitamin D may support gum health

September 6, 2013

A new study from India suggests that anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D may contribute to the treatment of gingivitis, an inflammation of the gum tissue.

In the randomized controlled trial, the scale of gum tissue inflammation was measured over a 3-month period in 96 patients with different degrees of gingivitis, receiving a daily vitamin D supplementation (500, 1000 or 2000 IUs) or placebo (1). The study results showed that the extent of gingivitis improved over time with increasing vitamin D dosage while the placebo group did not show any changes. The 2000 IU group already showed significant improvement after 1 month, the 1000 IU group after 2 months, and the 500 IU group after 3 months.


The researchers concluded that vitamin D is a safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of gingivitis. Dental professionals should recommend their patients consume adequate intakes of vitamin D to prevent gum inflammation and its sequelae – as they do successfully with fluoride to prevent cavities. An earlier observational study with 6,700 participants from the US found that the higher the blood vitamin D concentration, the lower was the prevalence of developing gingivitis (2). In 2012, an in vitro study suggested that vitamin D seems to reduce inflammation by influencing gene expression in a certain type of cell in the gums (3).

References

  1. Hiremath V. P. et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D on gingivitis: a dose-response randomised control trial. Oral Health Prev Dent. 2013; 11(1):61-69. Published online August 2013.
  2. Dietrich T. et al. Association between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and gingival inflammation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005; 82(3):575–580.
  3. Liu K. N. et al. Characterization of the Autocrine/Paracrine Function of Vitamin D in Human Gingival Fibroblasts and Periodontal Ligament Cells. Plos One. 2012;7(6).