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New study finds vitamin D levels during pregnancy may relate to dental health in children

Posted on: April 28, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council

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In a recent study, researchers have found that low maternal vitamin D levels may lead to increased tooth decay in children.

Early childhood caries (ECC) is any tooth decay that occurs in infants or very young children. It is one of the most common conditions that infants and young children are affected by.

Vitamin D may play a role in tooth development and in general dental health in children. Previous research has found that low vitamin D levels might lead to poor tooth development and increased tooth decay in children.

In a novel study, researchers out of Manitoba, Canada looked at whether a mother’s vitamin D levels during pregnancy affects tooth development in their offspring.

The researchers looked at the vitamin D levels of 200 pregnant women during their second and third trimester. Once the mothers gave birth, 133 of them returned to have their infants’ overall dentition  examined.

They found that mothers of infants with ECC had significantly lower vitamin D levels during pregnancy.

The researchers found an inverse relationship between maternal vitamin D levels and number of decayed teeth in infants. This means that lower vitamin D levels during pregnancy were related to a higher number of decayed teeth in infants.

“This study shows, for the first time, that prenatal [vitamin D] levels may have an influence on the primary dentition and the development of ECC,” the researchers concluded. “Specifically, lower levels were associated with increased risk for dental caries in infants.”

The researchers call for more effort to correct for vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy to potentially help in the prevention of ECC.

Source

Schroth, R. et al. Prenatal Vitamin D and Dental Caries in Infants. Pediatrics, 2014

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