Calcium – An Important Mineral for Oral and General Health
We all know that calcium helps to build healthy bones, but it also plays an important role in keeping your teeth and jaw strong. People who are deficient in calcium are more likely to experience adverse health effects such as low blood pressure, hormonal imbalance, nerve problems, brittle bones, irregular heartbeat, difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 and more. Everyday foods and beverages can be a rich source of calcium, but those who avoid dairy or have other dietary restrictions should be wary of their calcium intake. When lacking in calcium, your body will start to take calcium from the bones and teeth. Over time this will weaken your teeth and increase your risk of tooth decay and osteoporosis.
It is recommended that adults consume between 1000-1300mg of calcium per day to maintain optimal health. In this blog post Big Smiles Dental will be sharing some ways you can get more calcium into your body.
The Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
If you notice any of the following, this could be a sign of calcium deficiency:
- Frequently fatigued – your muscles rely on calcium for proper functioning and blood circulation. A lack of the mineral causes muscles to weaken, resulting in fatigue.
- Tooth decay and cavities forming – teeth enamel requires calcium to maintain its strength and protect your teeth against erosion and cavities. Those lacking in calcium are at a greater risk of experiencing oral health problems.
- Brittle Teeth – teeth which chip/crack/erode easily could indicate calcium deficiency.
- Abnormal heartbeat – the heart is a muscle, and it requires healthy levels of calcium to contract and maintain a rhythmic heartbeat.
- Low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis – low calcium intake can cause osteopenia, which may progress to osteoporosis.
Daily Recommended Intake – Calcium
People of all ages require calcium in order to maintain strong and healthy teeth and bones. In Australia, the average adult consumes around 850mg of calcium per day. According to Australian Dietary Guidelines, people of the following ages should consume:
1-3 years – 500mg per day
4-8 Years – 700mg per day
9-11 Years – 1000mg per day
12-18 Years – 1300mg per day
Women 19-50 Years – 1000mg per day
Women 51+ – 1300mg per day
Men 19-70 Years – 1000mg per day
Men 71+ – 1300mg per day
Increasing Calcium Intake – Top Food Choices
Whilst calcium supplements may be beneficial for some, it is always best to consume calcium as part of a healthy balanced diet. Some of the most calcium rich foods include:
- Dairy – milk, cheese, yoghurt etc. One 250ml cup of milk contains around 367mg of calcium, with a 200ml yoghurt containing around 386mg of calcium.
- Green Vegetables – broccoli and kale are a rich source of calcium. Broccoli contains around 45mg of calcium per cup, whilst kale contains around 150mg per 100g.
- Tofu – not only a great source of protein, tofu also contains around 832mg of calcium per cup. Consider using it in place of meat for your next stir fry.
- Fish – whether fresh or tinned, fish is a great source of calcium. One small can of sardines contains around 486mg of calcium.
Due for a Check-Up? Visit Big Smiles Dental Today
Calcium plays an important role within the body, and it is important to eat a well-balanced diet and follow the advice of your dentist to ensure teeth remain strong and healthy.
Are you due for a routine check-up? Call now on (02) 9921-1799 to book an appointment at our Little Bay dental clinic.