What Does Sunlight Have to Do with Cavity Prevention?

sunlight and cavity preventionYour oral health is comprised of a complex system of bones, teeth, muscles, joints, and soft tissue. Like a well-designed machine, your mouth requires fuel in the form of proper nutrients and minerals to operate properly – particularly, calcium, which strengthens your oral health by fortifying your jawbone and tooth enamel.

However, calcium is not the only thing your smile depends on. Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin because your body produces it when sunlight hits your skin, is vital to your oral health for a number of reasons, also, including strengthening your teeth to prevent cavities and other dental issues.

Sunshine, Vitamin D, and a Bright, Healthy Smile

A direct benefit of vitamin D is its ability to facilitate calcium absorption. Your body does not produce calcium naturally; it must be ingested through your diet, and vitamin D allows your body to absorb and metabolize the mineral. Together, vitamin D and calcium work with other nutrients to ensure that your mouth remains fully functional.

Recent studies have also shown that vitamin D produces a potent antibacterial peptide, making it a crucial component in controlling the harmful bacteria that spark tooth decay and gum disease. Over 600 different kinds of bacteria have been identified in the human mouth, and when enough of them gather, they form the sticky biofilm known as plaque, which allows them to adhere to your teeth and gums.

Controlling dental plaque is the basis of good dental health, and ensuring that your vitamin D levels are up to par can help prevent the development of damaging oral health issues. Making sure that you get enough sunlight is a good way to increase your body’s vitamin D production. You can also find the vitamin in many of the same sources as calcium, including meat, milk, cheese, and other dairy products.