The effect of vitamin D on coronal and root caries
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OBJECTIVE: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide. While vitamin D deficiency’s role on caries development has been long suggested, it has yet to be confirmed. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between vitamin D level and coronal and root caries in the U.S. METHODS: This study analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2004 data for individuals 6-65 years old. Vitamin D 25(OH)D serum levels were defined according to the Endocrine Society guideline into: Sufficient >75nmol/L, Insufficient 51-75 nmol/L and Deficient < 50 nmol/L. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted on coronal dental caries (DMFT and dft) by serum 25(OH)D level. Multiple regression models were conducted controlling for confounding. Descriptive, regression models, and survival analysis were conducted to assess the relationship between total vitamin D intake and root caries among men (48-93 years) using the Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS) data. Total vitamin D intake was classified according to the Institute of Medicine definition: <400IU/day, 400-800IU/day and >800IU/day. RESULTS: Children (6-11Y) with insufficient levels of vitamin D (50-75 nmol/L) have marginally higher odds of having dental caries experience in their primary teeth compared to those with sufficient serum levels (OR=1.3, p=0.067). No significant associations were found between DMFT and vitamin D serum level before and after controlling for confounding (P>0.05). Cross-sectional analysis of the DLS baseline data showed that higher total vitamin D intake is associated with higher level of root caries (OR=1.2, P=0.011). Repeated measure regression analysis of multiple cycles of DLS data, however, showed that vitamin D total intake was not significantly associated with the level of root caries. Survival analysis also showed no association (P=0.89). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that there is no significant association between vitamin D levels and coronal or root caries in permanent teeth. In contrast, lower serum vitamin D levels might be associated with higher caries levels in primary teeth. The results of this study, while adding new information, provide inconclusive evidence of the association between vitamin D and dental caries. Further investigation is needed to deepen our understanding of the role of vitamin D on dental caries development.