Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
We've all heard that calcium is essential in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, but an overwhelming number of us do not receive the recommended daily intake of calcium.
Teeth, like bones, are calcified tissues. Teeth begin to form in the first few months of fetal life and the mineralization process continues into late adolescence. An adequate intake of calcium is essential for proper development of tooth structures, and, as such, it is recommended that children up to age 11 consume 700 to 900 mg of calcium per day, while pre-teens and teenagers require between 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium or more per day to keep up with the growth spurts common to this age group.
Calcium consumption is important at all stages of life. When adults don't get enough calcium in their diet, their body is forced to borrow what it needs from their bones. Continued withdrawals of calcium from the "bone bank" can lead to osteoporosis, or brittle bones. The first signs of osteoporosis are sometimes discovered by dentists, because as the jawbone is surrendering calcium for needs elsewhere in your body, your jaw will weaken and your teeth will loosen, creating gaps where bacteria can invade. This in turn can trigger infection, inflammation and bleeding. The condition of your teeth and gums can therefore be a window to the overall health of your bones.
Calcium comes from a number of sources, including dairy foods, fortified food products such as some breakfast cereals, soy products, almonds, salmon with bones and some leafy green vegetables. It's not difficult to find sources of calcium - try calcium-fortified orange juice for a tasty and effective calcium source.