Ultraviolet-B, vitamin D reduce risk of dental caries
Large geographical variations in dental health and tooth loss among U.S. adolescents and young adults have been reported since the mid-1800s. The first study finding a North-South gradient in dental caries was a report of men rejected from the draft for the Civil War for lost teeth, from 8 per 1,000 men in Kentucky to 25 in New England. Studies by Clarence Mills and Bion East in the 1930s first linked the geographical variation in prevalence to sunlight exposure. They used data for adolescent males ages 12 to 14 from a cross-sectional survey in 1933–1934. East later found that dental caries were inversely related to mean hours of sunlight/year, with those living in the sunny West (3,000 hours of sunlight/year) having half as many carious lesions as those in the much less sunny Northeast (less than 2200 hours of sunlight/year).
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