Did you know nearly 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of vitamin D? And nearly 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Wow, that’s a lot of people who are not getting enough of this great vitamin.
You may be wondering, okay, why do I need to care if I am getting enough vitamin D? What exactly does this vitamin have to do with dental implant surgery?
What Vitamin D Does for Your Body’s Health
Well, vitamin D is commonly called the sunshine vitamin, since you get a good amount of it from the sun. It helps boost your immune system, strengthens and regrows bones, supports your respiratory tract, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial attributes. So, all it’s just really good for your overall health.
Vitamin D is so important for your health, studies have associated it with helping you reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and cardiovascular diseases. Since your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health, vitamin D plays an important role in the strength of your teeth and gums. Especially, if you are about to get dental implants.
Why Vitamin D is Needed for Dental Implant Success
When you get an implant, your mouth now needs to create new bone to surround the new implant. Vitamin D is important to ensure strong (and potentially quicker) healing of the area encircling the implant. Full, successful healing around the implant is crucial since the implant is only useful once the surrounding region has mended. Vitamin D helps with the healing of the area around the implant in two major ways:
- By helping to promote and maintain new bone growth. Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food you eat, in turn these three vitamins work together to help the implant fuse to your bone.
- As mentioned earlier vitamin D is an immune support with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This gives it a significant role in reducing post-surgery inflammation and potential oral infections.
If you are vitamin D deficient going into dental implant surgery, your body may not heal as quickly or as well.
Sources of Vitamin D
The main source of vitamin D is from the sun. Your body absorbs the sunlight via your skin and then through a series of processes your body synthesizes it to be used by your cells. If you live in winter or a climate where you have limited access to sunlight you may be missing out on this major vitamin D source.
Also, you may not absorb as much vitamin D if you are overweight or obese, over the age of 65, spend a lot of time indoors or have certain medical conditions. If any of this is applicable, you may need to supplement. A qualified healthcare professional (like a registered dietitian or your dentist) can help you figure out if you need a supplement and what dosage.
There are only a few food sources that contain vitamin D. The best way to eat your vitamin D is by adding these foods to your typical diet:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, swordfish, and herring
- Cod liver oil
- Milk labelled fortified with vitamin D
- Orange juice labelled fortified with vitamin D
- Cereals labelled fortified with vitamin D
- Eggs, especially the egg yolk
Vitamin D Snack and Meal Ideas
Vitamin D is best absorbed when consumed with healthy fats and other specific micronutrients.
Here are some snack ideas:
- One hard-boiled egg and dried apricots
- A serving of tuna and string cheese
- Baked salmon, brown rice, and steamed asparagus
- Scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and cheese
Additional Dental Implant Surgery Resources
If you’re looking to learn about other nutrients that may help with dental implant surgery click here. Or, if you’re instructed to go on a soft foods diet post surgery, check out this blog post for some helpful info on what to eat.
So, overall what you eat and how you nourish yourself before and after dental implant surgery plays a role in how well you will heal. And vitamin D, is an important part of helping your mouth to recover.
There are a lot of food products and vitamin D supplements out there and it may feel a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what is best to eat and which supplement is the best one for you. If you are looking for guidance on what to eat before and after surgery, please contact me and I will be happy to chat with you to see how I can help!
Happy Healing and Cheers to Food For Dental Health