In the midst of this summer, we know that many of our patients are outside enjoying the beautiful weather. With warmer weather comes more opportunities to enjoy activities outdoors. Whether you plan to go out of town or stay right here in Torrington, CT, we believe it is crucial to keep an eye on your sun exposure during this time of year.
As most of our readers know, too much exposure to the sun can result in several health problems including skin cancer, severe sunburns, and more. Exposure to the sun is typically regarded as an issue related to overall wellness, but sun exposure can even have an impact on oral health. Our dental implant patients here at Torrington Dental Care are always surprised to learn that the sun can have an impact on the health of their smile. With that being said, we want to shed light on this topic that is often overlooked. Dental implant provider, Dr. Frank Kuzmin explains more with a closer look at the impact sun has on oral health.
Sun exposure isn’t all bad! Vitamin D has plenty of perks that are absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of the body. This even includes the health of your teeth and gums. In fact, a lack of vitamin D is commonly associated with periodontal disease. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is a crucial aspect of the bone mineralization process. Vitamin D helps this process because it facilitates the absorption of calcium for the bones. Without enough vitamin D, your body won’t be able to utilize calcium, which is absolutely essential for oral health.
Patients without sufficient vitamin D can become more susceptible to problems like tooth decay and tooth loss. A study from researchers in Norway found that there is a relationship between latitude and tooth loss. According to the study, “Only 11% of people living in the south lost teeth compared to 43% living in the central region and 66% in the northern region.” Levels of vitamin D obviously dramatically decrease at higher latitudes.
On the other hand, too much exposure to the sun can also harm your oral health. The uncontrollable growth of cells in the mouth, also known as oral cancer, has a higher mortality rate than many other cancers. The lower survival rates are due to this type of cancer typically being diagnosed in the late states. By the time the cancer is diagnosed, it has usually spread to other areas of the body like the neck and head.
The biggest risk factors for developing oral cancer are alcohol consumption and tobacco use. However, there are plenty of other contributing factors like sun exposure as well. Excess sun exposure can increase your chances of developing these cells because of ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.
As we mentioned before, going out in the sunlight can benefit you because vitamin D but too much of a good thing can also cause harm. For the best outcome, we recommend enjoying sunlight in moderation.
Sun exposure isn’t typically a topic associated with oral health but it can certainly have an affect on the health of your smile. It’s important to be aware of all of the dangers and perks of being out in the sun to properly take care of your oral health and overall wellness. For our readers that are currently dealing with severe oral health problems like tooth loss, it’s important to pursue restorative treatment as soon as possible. Here at Torrington Dental Care, we’ve seen countless patients enjoy a natural-looking, complete smile with the help of dental implants. Ready to start your dental implant treatment? Contact our office today to schedule your no-obligation consultation with Dr. Kuzmin.