Woman with vitamin D deficiency experiencing dental pain

Can low vitamin D affect your teeth?

Medically reviewed on August 1, 2022 by Karen Janson, M.D. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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If you’re looking to protect your pearly whites for the long run, vitamin D plays a major role—particularly when it comes to bone, muscle, and teeth health.

But can low vitamin D levels affect your teeth negatively? The short answer is yes—but there’s much more to unpack when it comes to the link between vitamin D (specifically vitamin D3) and dental health.

Below, we’ll explore the essential role vitamin D plays in dental development and maintenance. Additionally, we’ll investigate the long-term effects of vitamin D deficiency, where to find vitamin D supplementation, and what you can do to protect your teeth, keeping them brighter, stronger, and longer.

What does vitamin D do for your teeth?

You know there’s a correlation between dental health and vitamin D—but how exactly does it work?

Vitamin D is used in various bodily processes, including: [1]

  • Immune response
  • Muscle function
  • Nervous system function

Most notably for those considering their dental health, vitamin D is responsible for the process of calcium absorption, providing this crucial mineral to your teeth.

How does a vitamin D deficiency affect your teeth?

An inadequate amount of any vitamin can lead to serious health effects, and vitamin D is no different. If you’re concerned about the potential for vitamin D deficiency, it’s crucial to know the warning signs.

To help you keep tabs on the health of your teeth, consider these common symptoms that could be indicative of a vitamin D deficiency: [2]

  • Gum inflammation – Pain and excessive bleeding during brushing could be a sign of gingivitis and gum inflammation. The early stages of gum disease involve excessive redness and sensitivity around the gums, irritation during flossing, and bleeding gums. Keep a close eye on the progression of any dental pain. If symptoms continue for an extended period, it may be time to talk to a medical professional.
  • Periodontitis – When left unchecked, gum disease can develop into a more serious case of periodontal disease. This condition is considered a serious dental infection, as the infection has moved from the gums into the supporting bones and ligaments. Bone tissue may become weakened, increasing the likelihood of permanent tooth loss in some cases.
  • Dental caries – Better known as cavities, dental caries are painful yet common dental problems—potentially made worse by low vitamin D levels. Aside from leaving you with sore teeth, dental caries may also lead to further infection if left untreated.

Additionally, children at risk of vitamin D deficiency may experience developmental dental issues, including tooth enamel defects and improper tooth mineralization. In some cases, childhood vitamin D deficiencies can result in long-term dental issues that extend into adulthood. By taking the proper preventative measures and ensuring adequate vitamin D consumption, you can directly protect children against dental issues as their teeth begin to develop.

Where can you find vitamin D?

To ensure your teeth are getting the vitamin D they need to stay strong and supported, you can look to one (or all) of the following sources: [3]

  • Sunlight – If you’re looking to up your vitamin D levels, your first step could be as simple as stepping outside. Vitamin D synthesis begins when your skin is exposed to sunlight, converting cholesterol into this essential vitamin. About 10–30 minutes of sunlight per day is all you need to maintain an ideal level of vitamin D.
  • Diet – During the cloudy, snowy, and rainy seasons, you may need another source of vitamin D. Fortunately, there are several foods that are chock-full of this vitamin, including fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
  • Supplements – It can be challenging to find all the vitamin D you need from food and the sun alone. Vitamin D dietary supplements offer a simple and effective way to ensure you’re consuming your daily-recommended amount of vitamin D without needing to change your diet or your schedule.

For reference, most adults are recommended 15 micrograms of vitamin D per day, and those over 70 should up their dosage to 20 micrograms a day for maximal benefit. [4]

It’s important to note that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that your body stores vitamin D in your fat cells for use over time. As such, it is possible to ingest too much vitamin D, particularly via supplements, sometimes resulting in unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Kidney problems

When consuming vitamin D supplements, be sure to follow all recommended dosing instructions, and never consume more than your daily limit. If you’re noticing some unusual side effects and are concerned about their relationship to vitamin D, consider consulting with your healthcare provider or using home testing as a resource to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in your body.

Everlywell: Protecting your teeth, securing your health

Brushing, flossing, and vitamin D are all key components of good oral health. But lower vitamin D levels can cause many dental health issues, including tooth loss, gum inflammation, tooth decay, and more. You can tell when your teeth feel gritty, dirty, and in need of a little care, but determining your body’s vitamin D levels is a whole different story. That’s where Everlywell comes in.

The Everlywell Vitamin D Test can provide you with fast, accurate information about vitamin D at a cellular level. Plus, you can feel at ease knowing that your tests are lab-certified, physician-reviewed, and totally private, delivering secure data straight to your device. Additionally, you can explore our vitamin D supplements to help boost your vitamin D today.

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  1. Fat-Soluble Vitamins & Micronutrients: Vitamin D. CDC. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  2. Vitamin D Deficiency and Oral Health: A Comprehensive Review. NIH. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  3. Vitamin D. NIH. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
  4. Vitamin D Factsheet. NIH. URL. Accessed August 1, 2022.
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