Vitamin D Deficiency as It Relates to Oral Immunity and Chronic Periodontitis

R. A.G. Khammissa*, R. Ballyram, Y. Jadwat, J. Fourie, J. Lemmer, L. Feller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The biologically active form of vitamin D, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) and its receptor, the vitamin D receptor (VDR), play roles in maintaining oral immunity and the integrity of the periodontium. Results of observational cross-sectional clinical studies investigating the association between vitamin D serum level and the incidence and severity of chronic periodontitis indicate that, perhaps owing to the immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties of 1,25(OH)2 D/VDR signalling, a sufficient serum level of vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of periodontal health. In cases of established chronic periodontitis, vitamin D supplementation is associated with reduction in the severity of periodontitis. As cross-sectional studies provide only weak evidence for any causal association and therefore are of questionable value, either longitudinal cohort studies, case controlled studies, or randomized control trials are needed to determine whether or not deficiency of vitamin D is a risk factor for chronic periodontitis, and whether or not vitamin D supplementation adjunctive to standard periodontal treatment is in any way beneficial. In this article, we discuss the relationship between vitamin D, oral immunity and periodontal disease and review the rationale for using vitamin D supplementation to help maintain periodontal health and as an adjunct to standard periodontal treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7315797
JournalInternational Journal of Dentistry
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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