Dr. Philippe Hujoel of the University of Washington in Seattle, who conducted the review, said vitamin D's role in supporting bone health has not been disputed, but significant disagreement has historically existed over its role in preventing cavities.
The American Medical Association and the U.S. National Research Council concluded around 1950 that vitamin D was beneficial in managing dental cavities. However, the American Dental Association disagreed based on the same evidence. In 1989, the National Research Council, despite new evidence supporting vitamin D's cavities-fighting benefits, called the issue "unresolved."
Hujoel reviewed clinical trials in the United States, Britain, Canada, Austria, New Zealand and Sweden. The trials involving children or young adults ages 2-16 were conducted in institutional settings, schools, medical and dental practices, or hospitals.
Dr. Michael Hollick, professor of medicine at the Boston University Medical Center, said the findings reaffirmed the importance of vitamin D for dental health because children who were vitamin D deficient had poor and delayed teeth eruption that were prone to dental cavities.
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