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J Periodontal Res. 2014 Oct;49(5):545-53. doi: 10.1111/jre.12149. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Re-evaluating the role of vitamin D in the periodontium.

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Department of Periodontology, College of Dentistry, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA.


The importance of vitamin D in maintaining skeletal health via the regulation of calcium has long been recognized as a critical function of this secosteroid. An abundance of literature shows an association between oral bone mineral density and some measure of systemic osteoporosis and suggests that osteoporosis/low bone mass may be a risk factor for periodontal disease. Recently, nonskeletal functions of vitamin D have gained notoriety for several reasons. Many cells that are not associated with calcium homeostasis have been demonstrated to possess membrane receptors for vitamin D. These include activated T and B lymphocytes, and skin, placenta, pancreas, prostate and colon cancer cells. In addition, vitamin D "insufficiency" is a worldwide epidemic and epidemiologic evidence has linked this condition to multiple chronic health problems, including cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, hypertension and a variety of cancers. Interestingly, there is mounting evidence connecting diminished serum levels of vitamin D with increased gingival inflammation and supporting the concept of "continual vitamin D sufficiency" in maintaining periodontal health. The ability of vitamin D to regulate both the innate and the adaptive components of the host response may play an important role in this process. This review will examine the skeletal and nonskeletal functions of vitamin D, and explore its potential role in protecting the periodontium as well as in regulating periodontal wound healing.


immune response; periodontal disease; vitamin D; wound healing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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