Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones, as it promotes the absorption of calcium. This vitamin can also reduce your risk of diabetes and can lower your chances of experiencing multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart attacks. While it is undeniable that vitamin D is good for your overall health, many dental patients are unaware that it is also necessary for the success of dental implants. If you’ll be undergoing dental implant surgery to replace your missing teeth, consider adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet.
How Can Vitamin D Help With Your Dental Implants?
Calcium is the primary element of the teeth and bones, and vitamin D allows the body to absorb this mineral. When your body doesn’t have enough vitamin D, you won’t be able to absorb new calcium, and your body won’t be able to maintain the enamel of your teeth. Since dental implants will require that your body forms new bone to surround the implant, a lack of vitamin D could be a real problem.
Animal studies have shown that the presence of vitamin D plays a major role in how well titanium implants integrate with the bone. One study showed that when rats consumed less vitamin D within their diets, their implants had less integration with the bone. These rats also produced less bone, and the bone that they did produce tends to be fragmented.
Vitamin D has also been shown to improve dental health in other ways. Vitamin D can reduce the severity and risk of periodontal disease. The vitamin produces defensins and cathelicidin, which can reduce the number of bacteria found in your mouth. Keeping your gums healthy and free of the symptoms of periodontal disease is also important in ensuring that you heal quickly after your dental implant surgery.
How To Get More Vitamin D
If your diet lacks vitamin D, all is not lost, as there are several simple steps that you can take to improve your vitamin D levels:
- Get more sunlight, as exposure of 20-25 minutes a day without sunscreen can encourage your body to make vitamin D.
- Invest in an ultraviolet lamp. If you live in a part of the country that doesn’t get much sun, an ultraviolet lamp can help your body to absorb vitamin D.
- Add fatty fish to your diet. Even canned tuna or sardines are good sources of vitamin D, and they are often less expensive than buying fresh fish.
- Drink fortified milk. Most milk varieties in the U.S. are fortified with vitamin D so that your body is able to absorb the high levels of calcium that are also present.
- Take a supplement. A vitamin D supplement can ensure that you get your proper dosage of the vitamin in the event that you aren’t consuming enough in your diet.
Vitamin D is one of the easiest nutrients to add to your diet, as simply lounging in the sun can boost your levels. By ensuring you get enough vitamin D in your diet, you can improve the chances that your dental implant surgery will be successful.
Last Reviewed by Dr. Eli Friedman on December 18, 2020