If your tooth is a bank account then calcium is the currency.
Without enough calcium, your teeth may suffer from a ‘financial crisis,’ leading to various dental problems.
Let’s explore how calcium deficiency affects teeth and what you can do to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
Calcium is vital for healthy teeth and bones for children and adults.
For children aged 1-3 years, 300 mg of calcium in their diet is sufficient.
This amount can be gradually increased up to 1300 mg for adolescent children.
Adult men and women should take 1000 mg of calcium daily.
This amount should be increased up to 1300 mg in women aged 51 years and above.
Causes Of Calcium Deficiency
Hypocalcemia is a condition where your body is deficient in calcium.
It is usually due to reduced calcium resorption in the blood, dietary deficiency, or genetic disorders.
Some causes of hypocalcemia are:
- Issues with parathyroid gland: Parathyroid glands are located in your neck.
They release a hormone called parathormone (PTH).
PTH helps regulate calcium levels in the body.
An under-secretion of PTH can result in low calcium levels in the body.
Genetic disorders like DiGeorge syndrome can result in a more minor, more rudimentary parathyroid gland.
- Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D helps maintain normal calcium levels.
A deficiency of this nutrient can interfere with calcium metabolism, resulting in low levels in the body.
- Certain medications interfere with bone calcium uptake and can cause hypocalcemia.
Some antibiotics and anti-seizure medications interfere with calcium uptake.
Medication used to treat bone cancer can reduce calcium resorption in bone.
What Causes Calcium Deficiency In Teeth?
Calcium deficiency in teeth can be due to a diet low in calcium and phosphorus.
How much calcium you consume as a child plays a part in determining your oral health in adulthood.
Calcium is essential for the normal development of teeth.
A deficiency of calcium can cause tooth decay.
Role Of Calcium In Dental Health
Calcium is the primary mineral contained in enamel.
It is present in the form of hydroxyapatite crystals in enamel.
Calcium prevents our teeth from cavities.
It also helps to hold the teeth firmly in the jaw bone.
Does Calcium Regrow Enamel?
Enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, is formed before birth.
Since it is a dead tissue, enamel does not regrow.
Fluoride-rich toothpaste can remineralize enamel to some extent when used regularly.
Eating calcium-rich foods can strengthen teeth but is unlikely to regrow lost enamel.
Effects of Calcium Deficiency on Your Teeth
Calcium deficiency can weaken your teeth and jawbone.
The jaw bone holds your teeth in place, and when it weakens, your teeth start to fall out.
You might also notice gum diseases and bleeding when your body runs low on calcium.
A study conducted in 2015 also showed a link between calcium deficiency and an increased risk of oral cancer.
Other Effects of Calcium Deficiency
- Brittle bones: calcium deficiency can decrease bone mass and density.
It can make you more prone to fractures, even minor injuries.
Menopausal women tend to develop osteoporosis, where bones become extremely brittle and fragile.
- Irregular heartbeat: Calcium is essential for the maintenance of heart health.
When your body is running low on calcium, you might develop arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat pattern.
- Mental confusion: Reduced calcium levels in the blood can cause confusion and mental disorders.
Taking Care Of Your Dental Health
Maintaining your oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Brushing and flossing twice daily helps remove any food particles stuck in your teeth.
Rinsing your mouth after every meal reduces the chances of developing caries.
Avoid frequently eating highly acidic foods, sugary sweets, and candies, as they can damage your teeth.
Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, as it can compromise oral health and cause cancer.
Get yourself checked every six months with the dentist to rule out any possible tooth or gum disease.
Can Taking Calcium Improve Teeth?
Some studies have shown that calcium and vitamin D supplements may improve oral health.
However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before starting supplements.
Sources of Calcium
- Dairy: It is one of the best dietary sources of calcium.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese all contain sufficient amounts of calcium.
Therefore, consuming two daily dairy products can meet the body’s calcium needs.
- Tofu: If you are a vegan and looking for a good source of calcium other than milk, try eating tofu.
Tofu has about 832 mg of calcium per cup.
- Green leafy vegetables: vegetables like spinach, kale, and Pak Choy are rich in calcium.
Spinach contains as high as 245 mg of calcium per cup.
- Fish: sardines contain about 486 mg of calcium per tin and can be eaten differently.
Which Calcium Tablet Is Best For Teeth?
In the long run, calcium tablets can make you susceptible to developing kidney stones.
However, if you are calcium deficient and cannot meet your needs through your diet, consult a doctor before starting any supplements.
Other Important Nutrients For Teeth
- Vitamin D: Helps your body metabolize calcium.
It also helps maintain bone density.
- Potassium: Increases bone density.
It also works alongside magnesium to reduce excess acidity in the blood.
Too acidic blood can leach calcium from bones and teeth.
- Phosphorus: A component of your body’s DNA.
It works with calcium to create hydroxyapatite, the main component of enamel.
Calcium is one of the essential minerals required by the body.
It helps proper bone and teeth formation and is required for blood clotting and nerve impulse transmission.
A calcium deficiency in the diet can cause many health problems, such as osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat, and mental retardation.
Calcium supplements help counteract deficiency, but it is always advisable to consult a doctor before starting any supplements.
Foods like milk, cheese, and other dairy products naturally contain calcium and should be included in your diet.