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Calcium and Your Teeth – Why it Matters

Calcium is a mineral often held in close association to bones.  However, tooth and dental health are also closely related to calcium.  Teeth are basically bones that are denser than the bones of your skeleton. Calcium is very important when your teeth are developing, as well as throughout your life as your teeth continue to grow, then age, and they need calcium.

Many people take calcium to avoid osteoporosis, but tooth loss can be another problem as age advances. Cavities, periodontal disease, or dental trauma can cause tooth loss. The chance of these incidents increases as people get older because absorption of calcium and vitamin D declines. Osteoporosis also affects jaw bones and may potentially lead to tooth loss. A decline in bone mineralization and density may also be linked to periodontal disease, which can cause tooth loss as well. Some studies have suggested that people with higher calcium intake are less likely to experience periodontal disease. Whether calcium supplements can actually be beneficial in preventing tooth loss or not in still not confirmed and will require more research.

In addition to being important during aging, calcium is especially important during a child’s developing years. Infants and youth need calcium for their teeth to grow in healthy and strong. One-third of the matter in bones and teeth is comprised of calcium.  Deficiency in calcium can affect how well teeth develop.  Teeth can still be growing and developing as late as your early twenties!

Once teeth have grown in fully, calcium is important because it may also help protect them against decay.  Bones are technically tissue that is alive and need to be well taken care of.  After teeth are developed, the body no longer deposits calcium in them, but the body can take calcium out of the teeth and bones if there is a deficiency. Because calcium is also needed for muscles, vessels, and nerves to function properly, many people do not get enough calcium in their diet and the body must take it from its existing stores in the bones and teeth. If calcium is leeched from the teeth, it’s more likely that cavities will develop.

In order to maintain good dental health be sure to get enough calcium, whether in the form of food or a supplement. Calcium is essential for a strong jaw and teeth and can help prevent tooth decay. When you keep up on your calcium intake, you are not only doing good for your skeleton, but you’re also helping to maintain a healthy smile!

 

 

 

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