When people think about at-home oral care, they often point to their brushing or flossing habits. However, these are hardly the only steps worth considering. Sure, at-home oral care is essential in between professional checkups and cleanings with a dentist in Marble Hills, but they are not the only factors to consider. Remember, tooth enamel is a living organism that relies on vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. One of these vitamins is Vitamin D, and with COVID-19 forcing people to stay inside more often, that can potentially become a problem for your oral health!
Why Vitamin D Matters to Oral Health
It’s very important to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay, but it’s also important to recognize the habits that keep teeth healthy outside of the bathroom. For example, diet plays a major role in long-term dental health. It has become more common for people to think about their calcium intake, but Vitamin D also matters for the teeth and the gums.
For example, Vitamin D is responsible for:
- Building healthy bones
- Repairing infected teeth
- Allowing the digestive system to absorb calcium (which creates bony structures alongside phosphorus to make up tooth enamel)
- Repairing damaged dentin (which is the layer underneath enamel that protects the blood supply and nerve inside the tooth)
- Managing the immune system (which is essential for controlling inflammation if gum disease is present)
How COVID-19 Puts Sufficient Vitamin D Intake at Risk
COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has largely prevented people from leaving their homes. According to local and national public health officials, staying at home is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of this harmful disease. However, that also means most people are not getting their daily recommended dosage of Vitamin D.
Not only does this put the immune system at risk, but it increases your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This can be especially harmful for children, who tend to have a higher risk for tooth decay already if they are Vitamin D deficient. Thankfully, there are ways to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D, even under a quarantine.
What You Can Do to Manage Vitamin D Deficiency
- Adjust Your Diet – Try to incorporate foods rich in Vitamin D into your diet, including fatty fish, eggs, butter, yogurt, and cheese from pasture-raised animals.
- Take Supplements – There are many supplements available specifically intended for vitamin D deficiencies.
- Spend Time Outside, At Home – Just because you need to quarantine doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time on your front porch, patio or balcony to get some sunlight! Aim for 30 minutes of sunlight per day.
- Speak With a Medical Professional – A doctor will be able to determine which supplements will best aid your Vitamin D deficiency.
With good daily habits, your Vitamin D intake (and by proxy your oral health) doesn’t have to be at risk just because you’re stuck at home!
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie has been practicing dentistry for over 18 years. His passion for continuing education in both the dental and medical fields has only strengthened during his time serving patients in Marble Hills and beyond. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact him through his website.