A study appearing in the June 2011 issue of Infection and Immunity titled “Vitamin D-Mediated Induction of Innate Immunity in Gingival Epithelial Cells.” written by Laura McMahon and et al. (vol. 79, no. 6, pages 2250-2256), suggests that making sure you have enough Vitamin D can help with the immune defense in the oral cavity.
The authors found that an innate immune regulator TREM-1 can be induced by treating gingival cells with vitamin D.
While still much work needs to be done looking at how exactly vitamin D can fight infections there is potential for targeted therapies in the future.
The authors state
“As vitamin D and calcium defciences can lead to increased inflammation, it is reasonable to hypothesize that there is an association with periodontal disease….vitamin D-mediated gene regulation of the innate immune response may be associated with the initial defense against colonization by periodontal pathogens.”
For now all you can do is make sure you have enough Vitamin D in your diet and consider taking a supplement. Periodontal disease is explained further on the risks of keeping wisdom teeth page. Periodontal disease has been linked to systemic diseases and is often a reason why oral surgeons recommend having wisdom teeth removed at a young age. Of course a lot of controversy exists surrounding removing healthy wisdom teeth as discussed on the wisdom teeth controversy page. Even so if you decide to keep your healthy wisdom teeth taking a Vitamin D supplement may be something to consider to potentially help prevent possible future gum infections.