Dental Tribune International

Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy improves oral health in offspring

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: The authors of a recent study have investigated whether high-dose vitamin D supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improved the long-term oral health of offspring during childhood. The findings showed a reduction in the probability of enamel hypoplasia, with no association between mothers’ supplementation and caries in their children.

The researchers conducted a post hoc analysis of a double-blind, randomised clinical trial, the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood 2010 cohort. The study included 623 women recruited at 24 weeks of pregnancy and 588 of their children. In total, the researchers performed 496 dental examinations on children who were 6 years old and then analysed the data.

“Enamel defects is a global health challenge affecting one-third of schoolchildren and more in some regions,” said Pia Elisabeth Nørrisgaard, a doctoral student at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital at the University of Copenhagen. “Vitamin D is essential for enamel mineralisation as well as for bone mineralisation. A few observational studies have been conducted on associations between vitamin D and enamel defects, but no previous research has assessed the effect of a high-dose vitamin D supplement in pregnancy. We hypothesised that early programming in the uterus may boost the developmental mechanism in the formation of teeth. This has not been studied before, and indeed, we were surprised to see our hypothesis confirmed,” she continued.

“Our results showed that the high-dose vitamin D supplementation reduced enamel defects in the offspring by approximately 50% in both the permanent and primary dentition. We also showed previously that vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of asthma, and this multi-organ effect of vitamin D given during pregnancy shows how trajectories to health or disease are laid out in pregnancy,” she concluded.

The researchers hope that the study will encourage pregnant women to increase their vitamin D supplementation, as this would benefit both their dental and general health considerably.

The study, titled “Association of high-dose vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy with the risk of enamel defects in offspring: A 6-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial”, was published online on 5 August 2019 in JAMA Pediatrics, ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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