How Getting Some Sun Can Mean Healthier Teeth
As spring approaches quickly, many of us have our sights set on enjoying the Florida sunshine. Not only is a day in the sun good for relaxation and mental therapy, but it can also help us to have healthier teeth and bones. Being exposed to sunlight allows our bodies to produce the important nutrient vitamin D. In turn, vitamin D makes our bones and teeth stronger. Experts say that as little as 5 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times per week can provide us with our minimum vitamin D needs.
Vitamin D Benefits
Vitamin D is such an asset to our health because it allows our bodies to better absorb calcium and phosphorous, two nutrients which are essential for the health of our bones. While teeth aren
t made of exactly the same materials as bones, they are quite similar and also rely on minerals like vitamin D to maintain strength and longevity. Studies also suggest that adequate vitamin D intake can help to protect against dangerous diseases like type 1 diabetes, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Getting Vitamin D
Research shows that it may be surprisingly easy for individuals to be vitamin D deficient. In fact, up to 50 percent of people may lack proper vitamin D levels. This can be due to having darker skin that blocks sunlight absorption, the use of SPF sunscreens, living in northern latitudes with less sun exposure, or living in areas with high pollution, just to name a few.
Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
There are a number of risks associated with a vitamin D deficiency, which also correlates to a deficiency of calcium and/or phosphorous. One of these conditions is called rickets. Rickets occurs when the body attempts to combat low vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate levels by producing a type of hormone that causes the body to release these nutrients from the bones so that the blood
s supply can be replenished. Unfortunately, this leads to weaker bones.
Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause harmful dental and periodontal effects at any stage of development. Children who are vitamin D deficient may have delayed or abnormal formation of the teeth. Individuals with a vitamin D deficiency may also have an increased risk of periodontal disease. Insufficient amounts of vitamin D can also contribute to a heightened risk of dental cavities, due to lack of proper mineralization of the teeth that causes them to become weaker and more susceptible to penetrating and harmful bacteria.