Vitamin D Supplements Can Help Fight Bad Breath & Prevent Gum Disease
Everyone has bad breath now and then. (Remember when wearing masks made us all hyperaware of this?) But if your bad breath is more consistent, you may want to check out this unexpected method of managing it.
As it turns out, vitamin D actually supports gum and tooth health and is predicted to help manage gingivitis and gum disease. Seriously, this research might have you exchanging your mints for a quality vitamin D supplement!
The connection between vitamin D and gingivitis.
If you've been keeping up with mindbodygreen's vitamin D content, you know about the influence vitamin D has on many aspects of your health. Its impact on oral health is certainly one of the lesser-known benefits, but I'd argue it's a major reason to ensure you're getting enough. After all, who wants suboptimal tooth and gum health?
Gingivitis is the medical term for inflammation of the gums1, and its symptoms include red, swollen, and bleeding gums; sensitive teeth; receding gums; and bad breath. If gingivitis progresses, periodontitis—a severe gum infection that can lead to tooth loss—can develop. If left unchecked, periodontitis (aka periodontal disease or gum disease) can lead to the breakdown of bone tissue and the development of a "periodontal pocket" between the tooth and the gums where bacteria can build up. More advanced periodontitis may even affect jaw bone density.
Studies have consistently found connections between periodontal disease and vitamin D deficiency; people with periodontal disease have lower vitamin D levels than people without. 2According to a 2018 scientific Medicina article, vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of periodontal disease3. Alternatively, maintaining healthy vitamin D levels can help promote periodontal and jawbone integrity and bolster a healthy inflammatory response in the mouth.
Prevention of periodontitis includes good oral hygiene, like brushing your teeth and getting deep cleans at the dentist. But with recent research evaluating the impact of vitamin D deficiency on gum disease, there may be another step to add to your oral care routine.
Scientists are analyzing whether taking vitamin D is an effective strategy for managing gingivitis. Preliminary studies have revealed that vitamin D supplementation might be helpful for those who already have gingivitis, as it helps prevent gingivitis from getting worse4, improves the gum inflammation associated with gingivitis5, and even results in better oral surgery outcomes6.
Vitamin D is known to increase the antibacterial defense3 of the gums by contributing to the synthesis of the mucous membrane. In other words, it helps prevent the bad stuff from getting into your deep tissues and, therefore, is an essential component to fighting against the progression of gingivitis into more advanced periodontitis.
Brushing and flossing aren't the only ways to achieve good oral health. Raising your vitamin D levels through supplementation can help to prevent—and even potentially manage—gum disease.
If you're on the hunt for a high-quality vitamin D to support your oral hygiene, check out mindbodygreen's guide to the best vitamin D supplements on the market today.
Josey Murray is a freelance writer focused on inclusive wellness, joyful movement, mental health, and the like. A graduate of Wellesley College, where she studied English and Creative Writing, her work appears in Women’s Health, Cook & Culture, and more. By expressing her own vulnerability, she writes with warmth and empathy to help readers find self-compassion and true wellness that’s sustainable for body, mind, and planet.