Some of our patients that come into our downtown Toronto dentist office have brittle teeth. There are many potential causes to having brittle teeth, but we’ve found that one of the more common causes is a calcium deficiency. A calcium deficiency doesn’t just affect the bones. It can also affect the teeth, especially by a weakening of the jaw bone.
Think of the jaw bone as the anchor that keeps your teeth together. If the jaw bone is damaged, you’ll start to notice your teeth loosening up. And you can guess what can happen to loose teeth! Women, in particular, are three times more likely to lose their teeth this way because of osteoporosis. Those with healthy bones are more likely to have healthy teeth.
Calcium plays a big role in keeping your teeth healthy and strong
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs the same amount of calcium. But it’s important for everyone to absorb calcium. No matter what age. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the recommended amount of daily calcium. We see this with some of our patients at our Toronto downtown dentistry.
We recommend this daily intake of calcium to start with, depending on your age. Everyone has different needs, though.
Babies 0-12 Months – 200mg-260mg
Children 1-3 Years – 700mg
Children 4-8 Years – 1,000mg
Children & Teens 9-18 Years – 1,300mg
Adults 19-71 Years – 1,000mg
Adults 71+ Years – 1,200mg
For babies and young children, calcium intake is especially important in developing strong teeth and bones. Calcium development at a young age lays the foundation for years to come. Adults will need strong teeth to protect themselves.
As you can see from the recommendations for calcium intake, adolescents and teens need the most calcium. Once again, this lays the foundation for strong future teeth. Adults need lots of calcium so that they can maintain the strong teeth that they hopefully built as children. Being calcium-deficient can lead to more brittle teeth, but there’s more to the bond than meets the eye.
The strong bond between calcium and your teeth
The enamel in your teeth is mostly made up of calcium phosphate molecules called hydroxyapatite. This makes enamel the hardest tissue in your body. Our downtown Toronto patients are shocked to learn that enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, including bones. Enamel is the protective armor that protects your teeth from the elements.
Since hydroxyapatite is made up of calcium, you can see why it’s so important to keeping your enamel. Furthermore, hydroxyapatite has the ability to repair itself after an acid attack. So the more you are giving yourself the correct calcium intake, the more resilient your teeth will be when you drink a soda.
Our dentists in downtown Toronto also recommend topical fluorides, such as toothpaste. The combination of fluorides and calcium strengthens teeth. In fact, this combination of fluoride and calcium can even repair tooth decay if it’s early enough.
What happens when your tooth’s enamel has an insufficient amount of calcium?
A few of our downtown Toronto dental patients have suffered from hypocalcification in the past. This is a condition that arises when enamel has been deprived of calcium. While the enamel still covers your tooth’s surface, it’s getting weaker and thinner. As a result, your teeth can feel chalky.
If your teeth are suffering from hypocalcification, our Toronto downtown dentists can work on strengthening them. We may give you fluoride treatments and help you with your discoloration. Glass ionomer cements bonded to the surface of your teeth can cover discoloration. We may need to encapsulate your hypocalcified tooth with a crown. Our dentists also recommend that you adjust your diet.
If you need more calcium, what kind of diet should you have?
There are calcium-rich foods you can consume such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. But it’s not just dairy! People sometimes forget that some green vegetables contain calcium, such as brussels sprouts. Other foods include salmon, dried beans and broccoli. Some fortified foods such as tofu and certain cereals can contain calcium. Our downtown Toronto dentists recommend taking multivitamin and supplements. Just make sure they have an adequate amount of calcium.
A high-calcium diet is just one of the defense mechanisms that you can build for your teeth. Also, make sure that you change your diet to eliminate anything that can erode the enamel of your teeth. That means curbing the sugary snacks and drinks!
But there’s more to this than just calcium
Phosphorus and vitamin D also play roles in forming and maintaining healthy teeth. Calcium intake isn’t beneficial without vitamin D. The interaction between these minerals and vitamins is important. This is because vitamin D regulates your body’s balance of calcium and phosphorus.
Without vitamin D, your body won’t be able to optimize its absorption of calcium. And in order for the bone-strengthening benefits to really show, calcium needs phosphorus. So make sure that your diet contains calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. They make a trifecta for fortifying your teeth. Vitamin D also helps reduce inflammation of the gums. Inflamed gums can lead to gum disease.
As you can see, healthy teeth need calcium. A calcium-rich diet can help prevent a lot of negative dental issues that our downtown Toronto patients face. Let’s fight decay and ensure strong teeth together for years to come!