Mother's Vitamin D Levels Can Affect Baby's Dental Health

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Canadian researchers have identified a correlation between an expectant mother's vitamin D intake during pregnancy and her baby's dental health.

Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood in two ways: by promoting their absorption from food in the intestines and the re-absorption of calcium in the kidneys.

Now, a research team from the University of Manitoba says that babies born to women who have low levels of vitamin D may have an increased risk of tooth enamel defects and early childhood caries.

Analyzing the vitamin D levels of 206 women in their second trimester of pregnancy, researchers found that only 21 had adequate vitamin D levels. They also evaluated 135 infants — determining that 21.6 percent had enamel defects and 33.6 percent had early childhood tooth decay.

In addition, the mothers of infants with enamel defects had lower vitamin D concentrations during pregnancy than mothers of infants without enamel defects. The mothers of infants with early childhood decay had significantly lower vitamin D levels than mothers of infants who were cavity free, and infants with enamel defects were significantly more likely to have early childhood tooth decay.

The researchers believe that vitamin D levels were related to the frequency of milk consumption and prenatal vitamin use.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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Common Conditions During PREGNANCY

To help minimize any risks during pregnancy, here is some general advice and some common conditions to be on the lookout for:

  1. Gum disease – during pregnancy, teeth and gums need special attention. Regular tooth brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, eating a balanced diet and visiting the dentist regularly will help reduce dental problems that accompany pregnancy.

  2. Enamel erosion – for some women, morning sickness is a major symptom of pregnancy. Along with the nausea comes additional acid that, if left in your mouth, can erode your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or with a fluoride mouthwash to keep the acid level under control.

  3. Dry mouth – pregnancy dry mouth can put women at a greater risk for problems such as tooth decay and infections. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and chew sugarless gum to enhance production of saliva.

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