Did You Know Vitamin D Deficiencies are Visible in Dental X-Rays?

Human teeth are well-known for recording valuable information about dental and general health, including Vitamin D deficiencies (rickets). A deficiency is visible in microscopic dentine deformities. Dentine is found just underneath the tough outer layer of tooth enamel protecting

teeth. However, to assess these deformities teeth must be cut open, which is why dental x-rays are such an appealing way to identify rickets as they show the dental pulp which is the soft inner part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels.

A person with a severe Vitamin D deficiency will have a different shaped dental pulp to someone who has received adequate Vitamin D. A healthy pulp is arch-shaped, topped with ‘cat’s ears.’ When a person has a Vitamin D deficiency, the pulp profile is similar to a hard-backed dining chair. It is such a recognisable pattern that it could make it easy to identify someone with this vitamin deficiency in the future.