Science and Technology
publicado em 16/08/2011 às 03h00:00
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Years of studies show benefits of vitamin D and UVB rays for teeth

Vitamin D and UVB radiation helps prevent cavities, while preserving the oral health of people

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Geographical variations are related to oral health and tooth loss among adolescents and adults in the U.S.. This relationship has been studied since the mid-1800.

Studies done by researchers Clarence Mills East and Bion in 1930 related to tooth loss to prevalence of exposure to sunlight. They found teenage boys aged between 12 and 14 years from a cross-sectional study, between 1933 and 1934. East later discovered that the occurrence of dental caries was related to the average hours of sunshine / year. Young people living in the west of the country (3000 hours of sunshine / year), had half of carious lesions than those in the northeast, which is much less sunny (<2,200 hours of sunshine / year). Several studies conducted in Oregon in 1950 observed that the prevalence of caries was lower in the sunniest regions of the state than in cloudy regions, a finding that persisted after considering other factors that affect rates of tooth decay. The mechanism was attributed to vitamin D through their effects on the body's calcium levels.

Some studies have reported on vitamin D and dental caries in the years 1920 and 1930. Mellanby and colleagues in Sheffield, England, have made studies on the role of vitamin D in the teeth in 1920. The first experiments were with dogs, and it was found that vitamin D stimulates calcification of the teeth. Later, the researchers studied the effect of vitamin D on tooth decay in children, finding a beneficial effect. Additional studies were conducted with children in New York using artificial ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) and oral intake of vitamin D for preventing tooth decay.

The mechanism by which UVB reduced the risk of caries was through the production of vitamin D, followed by the induction of cathelicidin peptide, which attacks oral bacteria linked to tooth decay. Cathelicidin is well known for fighting bacterial infections, including pneumonia, sepsis and tuberculosis. Several recent studies have reported that cathelicidin reduces the risk of caries, but did not indicate a relationship between the peptide and vitamin D. The use of vitamin D seems to be the best option to reduce tooth decay than fluoridated water for example, because there are many additional benefits brought by vitamin and a number of adverse effects of fluoridation, such as fluorosis (mottled) of teeth and bones.

   Palavras-chave:   Cavities    Vitamin D    UVB    Research    United States   
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