Background: Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that, together with its influence on bone health, may confer periodontal benefit.
Methods: Cross-sectional associations (years 1997-2000) between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration [25(OH)D] and periodontal measure were investigated among 920 postmenopausal women. Measures of chronic disease were defined based on: 1) alveolar crestal height (ACH) measures from intraoral radiographs and tooth loss and 2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) criteria using measures of clinical attachment level and probing depth (PD). Acute oral inflammation was assessed by the percentage of gingival sites that bled upon assessment with a probe. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for periodontal disease among participants with adequate [25(OH)D ≥50 nmol/L] compared with deficient/inadequate [25(OH)D <50 nmol/L] vitamin D status adjusted for age, dental visit frequency, and body mass index.
Results: No association was observed between vitamin D status and periodontal disease defined by ACH and tooth loss (adjusted OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.35). In contrast, women with adequate compared with deficient/inadequate vitamin D status had 33% lower odds (95% CI = 5% to 53%) of periodontal disease according to the CDC/AAP definition and 42% lower odds (95% CI = 21% to 58%) of having ≥50% of gingival sites that bled.
Conclusions: Vitamin D status was inversely associated with gingival bleeding, an acute measure of oral health and inflammation, and inversely associated with clinical categories of chronic periodontal disease that incorporated PD, an indicator of oral inflammation. However, vitamin D was not associated with chronic periodontal disease based on measures of ACH in combination with tooth loss.