Dental cariesVitamin D levels

There do not appear to be studies reporting serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in relation to dental caries incidence.

However, a study of Inuit children in Canada found an inverse correlation between taking vitamin D supplements and dental caries: “Inuit preschool-aged children aged 3 to 5 years from 16 of Nunavut’s 25 communities were randomly selected to participate in the Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey conducted in 2007 and 20081.”

“Very few children were taking a fluoride supplement (4.6%, 95% CI: 2.3-6.9%) or a vitamin D supplement (4.9%, 95% CI: 2.4-7.4%). Sixteen percent of children (95% CI: 12.3.-20.1) were taking a multivitamin and multimineral supplement containing vitamin D and calcium but not fluoride. In univariate analyses using data from the qualitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), children with RCE drank milk less often than children without reported-caries experience (RCE) (1.6 +/- 0.1 vs 2.2 +/- 0.2 times per day, respectively, t-test p <or=0.01). Also, children with RCE drank more soda pop compared with children without RCE (0.8 +/- 0.1 vs 0.5 +/- 0.1 times per day, respectively, t-test p <or=0.05). Consistent with findings from the FFQ, children with RCE drank less milk in the previous day than children without RCE (225.9 +/- 17.0 vs 325.6 +/- 44.8 g/day respectively, p <or=0.01). Reported-caries experience was also more common among children who did not take any nutritional supplements containing vitamin D, calcium or fluoride than among those who did (75.5% vs 60.0% respectively, chi(2) p <or=0.01). Multivariable logistic regression revealed that a higher frequency of milk intake was independently protective against having RCE (OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.73-0.97)1”.

There is also evidence of a link to caries from low serum 25(OH)D levels from a study of patients with Crohn’s disease: “Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of unknown cause with unpredictable remissions and exacerbations. Associated nutritional deficiencies include those involving zinc, magnesium, vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin D. A group of patients with Crohn’s disease underwent detailed cariologic investigation at the Department of Cariology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. Factors predisposing to caries were evaluated according to Krasse’s concept of caries risk. On this basis, 11 of the 15 patients had a high caries risk2.”

Page last edited: 17 May 2011


  1. Pacey, A. Nancarrow, T. Egeland, G. M. Prevalence and risk factors for parental-reported oral health of Inuit preschoolers: Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey, 2007-2008. Rural Remote Health. 2010 Apr-Jun; 10 (2): 1368.
  2. Bevenius, J. Caries risk in patients with Crohn’s disease: a pilot study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1988 Mar; 65 (3): 304-7.