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J Periodontol. 2014 Jul;85(7):944-55. doi: 10.1902/jop.2013.130518. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Association of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin d concentrations and pathogenic oral bacteria in postmenopausal females.

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Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY.



Previous findings of an association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and periodontal disease may be partially explained by the antimicrobial properties of vitamin D. To the best of the authors' knowledge, no study has investigated the association between 25(OH)D and pathogenic oral bacteria, a putative cause of periodontal disease.


The association between plasma 25(OH)D concentrations and pathogenic oral bacteria was examined among postmenopausal females in the Buffalo Osteoporosis and Periodontal Disease Study (1997 to 2000), an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Subgingival plaque samples were assessed using immunofluorescence for the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia, and Campylobacter rectus. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for prevalent bacteria by quintile (Q) of 25(OH)D concentrations, adjusting for age and body mass index.


Of the 855 participants, 288 (34%) had deficient/inadequate (<50 nmol/L) 25(OH)D concentrations, and 496 (58%) had at least one species of pathogenic bacteria. No significant association was found between 25(OH)D and presence of any of these bacteria (adjusted OR for high [Q5] compared to low [Q1] 25(OH)D = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.61 to 1.50; P for trend = 0.50). Inverse, although not statistically significant, associations were found between 25(OH)D and more than one species of pathogenic bacteria (adjusted OR for adequate compared to deficient/inadequate 25(OH)D = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.60 to 1.19).


No association was observed between pathogenic oral bacteria and 25(OH)D concentrations in postmenopausal females. This may be attributable to the species of bacteria assessed, small effect size, or a true absence of an association.


25-hydroxyvitamin D; Dental plaque; periodontal diseases; periodontitis; postmenopause; vitamin D

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