OBJECTIVES: Inadequate maternal vitamin D (assessed by using 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25OHD]) levels during pregnancy may affect tooth calcification, predisposing enamel hypoplasia and early childhood caries (ECC). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between prenatal 25OHD concentrations and dental caries among offspring during the first year of life.
METHODS: This prospective cohort study recruited expectant mothers from an economically disadvantaged urban area. A prenatal questionnaire was completed and serum sample drawn for 25OHD. Dental examinations were completed at 1 year of age while the parent/caregiver completed a questionnaire. The examiner was blinded to mothers’ 25OHD levels. A P value ≤ .05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: Overall, 207 women were enrolled (mean age: 19 ± 5 years). The mean 25OHD level was 48 ± 24 nmol/L, and 33% had deficient levels. Enamel hypoplasia was identified in 22% of infants; 23% had cavitated ECC, and 36% had ECC when white spot lesions were included in the assessment. Mothers of children with ECC had significantly lower 25OHD levels than those whose children were caries-free (41 ± 20 vs 52 ± 27 nmol/L; P = .05). Univariate Poisson regression analysis for the amount of untreated decay revealed an inverse relationship with maternal 25OHD. Logistic regression revealed that enamel hypoplasia (P < .001), infant age (P = .002), and lower prenatal 25OHD levels (P = .02) were significantly associated with ECC.
CONCLUSIONS: This study found that maternal prenatal 25OHD levels may have an influence on the primary dentition and the development of ECC.