Low levels of vitamin D in pregnant mothers associated with caries in children: Study
Low levels of vitamin D in pregnant mothers associated with caries in children, suggests a study published in the BMC Pediatrics.
Vitamin D is traditionally associated with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, a process essential for the mineralization of hard tissue such as bone or tooth.
Given the possibly significant role of Vitamin D in odontogenesis in children, a study was conducted by a group of researchers from Spain with an objective to determine the influence of vitamin D levels in the blood on dental anomalies in children between 6 and 10 years of age, by means of 25-hydroxy vitamin D tests performed during pregnancy and the first years of life.
The data analyzed were sourced from data belonging to the INMA-Asturias birth cohort, a prospective cohort study initiated in 2004 as part of the INMA Project. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) test was performed with samples from 188 children in the INMA-Asturias birth cohort with a dental examination performed between 6 and 10 years of age. The samples were taken at three stages: in the mother at 12 weeks of gestation, and subsequently in the child at 4 and 8 years of age. Diet, nutritional and oro-dental hygiene habits were also analyzed by means of questionnaires.
The results of the study are as follows:
· The results indicate a significant association between caries and correct or incorrect brushing technique.
· With incorrect brushing technique, the prevalence of caries was 48.89%, but this dropped to 22.38% with correct brushing technique.
· An association was also found between tooth decay and frequency of sugar intake.
· The prevalence of caries was 24.54% with occasional sugar intake, but this rose to 56% with regular sugar intake.
· On the other hand, levels < 20 ng/ml in both mother and child at 8 years of age would also be risk factors and for the presence of caries in children.
· The risk of caries practically tripled.
The researchers concluded that, although incorrect brushing technique and regular sugar consumption was found to be the main cause of caries in the children, the low concentrations of vitamin D in the blood of the pregnant mothers may have magnified this correlation, indicating that the monitoring of vitamin D levels during pregnancy should be included in antenatal programmes. It is particularly striking that 50% of the children were deficient in vitamin D at the age of 4, and that dental floss was practically absent from regular cleaning routines.
Vitamin D, pregnancy and caries in children in the INMA-Asturias birth cohort by Suárez-Calleja C et. al published in the BMC Pediatrics.