Vitamin D is crucial for the body, as it helps to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy, said the NHS. Without enough vitamin D – which is also known as the ‘sunshine’ supplement – it’s difficult to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. A severe lack of the vitamin may even lead to bone deformities or osteomalacia. You could be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency if you have sensitive teeth, it’s been revealed.
Sensitive teeth may be a sign of enamel erosion, which is linked to rickets.
Rickets may be caused by not getting enough vitamin D in your diet, revealed GP Dr Sarah Jarvis.
You could have sensitive teeth if eating certain foods causes a painful twinge throughout your body, emanating from your teeth.
“Rickets in children – a condition where minerals aren’t laid down in bony tissue and bones become soft and deformed – was a common occurrence in the past and mostly disappeared during the early 20th century after foods like margarine and cereal were fortified with vitamin D,” said Jarvis.
“However, in recent years cases of rickets are on the rise.”
Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in young children, although adults can experience a similar condition, which is known as osteomalacia.
A vitamin D or calcium deficiency is one of the most common causes of rickets and osteomalacia, said the NHS.
It said: “Rickets causes a child’s bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities.
“The signs and symptoms of rickets can include dental problems – including weak enamel, delay in teeth coming through and increased risk of cavities.”
Tooth enamel helps to protect the teeth while chewing, biting or grinding. It also insulates the teeth from potentially painful temperatures.
You could also be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency if you often have muscle and joint pains, added Jarvis.
Having a vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of some deadly complications, including some cancers, she said.
For those with asthma, it could also increase the risk of an asthmatic flare up, added the GP.
The best food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and some fortified products.
You could also top up on vitamin D by spending more time in direct sunlight. The sun prompts the body to naturally produce vitamin D3.
But, during the autumn and winter months, the body struggles to produce enough vitamin D, due to the axis of the earth and reduced daylight hours. It’s therefore recommended that everyone takes a 10mcg vitamin D supplement to prevent a deficiency.