Teeth and calcium
Calcium is the mineral that is most abundantly found in the human body, stored mainly in the teeth and bones and only a very small amount circling in the blood stream and in the tissues. It is a very important mineral nonetheless, and insufficient consumption can cause tooth decay and osteoporosis as the body will extract the necessary amount for its proper functioning from the bones and the teeth.
Recommended daily intake for adults is 800-1000 mg. For pregnant women and elderly people it is 1200-1500 mg.
During pregnancy calcium deficiency is quite common which mainly affects the teeth. Many pregnant or breast-feeding women suffer from tooth decay or from the weakening of teeth enamel which can lead to breaking of the teeth. The old wives' tale that warns a woman to expect a lost tooth for every baby is false, however. According to the theory, as the body of the mother is trying to supply for the baby, the mother gets less of the calcium intake. Truth is that if the mother's intake of calcium is inadequate during pregnancy, her bones – not her teeth – will provide the calcium her growing baby needs. Unfortunately it is true that it’s less convenient to get dental procedures done during pregnancy - not to mention that it is not possible to use x-ray for example - and women tend to postpone the intervention to after the delivery of the baby. Therefore it is recommended to prevent the issue by adequate calcium intake and by maintaining a thorough dental hygiene.
On the other hand, excessive calcium intake can lead to constipation, it disrupts the absorption of certain other minerals, and it can also be deposited in the bones and tissues.
Several hormones participate in the metabolism of calcium, and the composition of our food also has an effect on the utilization of calcium.
Factors that assist and promote the utilization/absorption of calcium:
- Vitamin D is one of the most important factor. Without it, calcium cannot be properly absorbed by the teeth and the bones.
- Lactose and an acidic environment assist well in the absorption process. Like a glass of fresh milk.
- Physical activities, exercising also helps. Of course on a healthy and moderate level.
Factors that block and prevent the proper utilization/absorption of calcium:
- Excessive protein intake
- High phosphorus consumption
- Phytate and oxalate content of food
- High fat consumption or fat absorption disorder
Foods with significant calcium content: cheese, milk, cottage cheese, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sea fish.