Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has warned vegans that are very low in animal products can be short of the calcium necessary to make vitamin D, which in turn strengthen teeth.
Dr.Ludwig Leibsohn, faculty in AGD , said, "an adult on a vegetarian diet for a prolonged time can be at risk of periodontal disease. Teeth may soften when there is a shortage of vitamin D, becoming more susceptible to decay."
Deficiencies in vitamin D are rare, because the body produces it during sun exposure, but a diet lacking in calcium hampers its production. Dr Leibsohn recommended consuming fish, dairy products and green leafy vegetables, or taking cod liver oil, yeast tablets or multi-vitamins daily to prevent problems.
"The potential for deficiencies is greatest among children and teenagers who put themselves on vegetarian diets without knowing enough about their nutritional needs," he said.
He warned that anyone considering changing their eating habits should inform their dentist. "Diet is an important part of an individual's medical history, and patients should always inform their dentist if they adhere to a special diet of any kind," he concluded.