Associations between Prenatal, Perinatal, and Early Childhood Vitamin D Status and Risk of Dental Caries at 6 Years

Constanza L.Andaur Navarro, Olja Grgic, Katerina Trajanoska, Justin T. Van Der Tas, Fernando Rivadeneira, Eppo B. Wolvius, Trudy Voortman, Lea Kragt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies have suggested that insufficient concentrations of vitamin D are associated with dental caries in primary teeth, but evidence remains inconclusive. Objectives: We assessed the longitudinal associations between prenatal, perinatal, and early childhood serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations [25(OH)D] and the risk of dental caries in 6-year-old children. Methods: This research was conducted within the Generation R Study, a large, multi-ethnic, prospective cohort study located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Dental caries were assessed in children using the decayed-missing-filled-primary teeth index at a mean age of 6.1 years (90% range, 4.8-9.1). We measured serum total 25(OH)D concentrations at 3 time points: prenatally (at 18-24 weeks of gestation), perinatally (at birth), and during early childhood (at age 6 years). We performed logistic regression analyses to determine the longitudinal association of serum 25(OH)D concentrations with caries risks in 5257 children. Additionally, we constructed a Genetic Risk Score (GRS) for the genetic predispositions to serum total 25(OH)D concentrations based on 6 vitamin D-related single nucleotide polymorphisms in a subsample of 3385 children. Results: Children with severe prenatal and early childhood serum 25(OH)D deficiencies (<25 nmol/L) were more likely to be diagnosed with caries [OR, 1.56 (95% CI, 1.18-2.06) and 1.58 (95% CI, 1.10-2.25), respectively] than children with optimal concentrations (≥75 nmol/L). After adjustment for residuals of serum 25(OH)D concentrations at other time points, only the early childhood serum 25(OH)D concentration was inversely associated with the caries risk at 6 years (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-0.98). However, our GRS analysis showed that children who are genetically predisposed to have lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations do not have a higher risk of developing caries in primary teeth. Conclusions: Our study suggests a weak association between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and risks of caries in primary teeth. Based on our results, we do not recommend vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of dental caries in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-2000
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


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