The Necessity of Calcium on Our Bones And Teeth

When we are born, around 300 bones typically make up our body. As we step into adulthood, the number of bones decreases up to 206 as some bones have fused together.

The human skeleton or our body’s internal framework is divided into two, axial skeleton and appendicular skeleton, which are connected. The skull, vertebral column, rib cage, and other related bones make up the axial skeleton. On the other hand, the pelvic and shoulder girdles, and the boned of the upper and lower limbs form the appendicular skeleton.

Comprising 15 percent of our total body mass, the maximum bone mineral density which is the amount of bone mineral in the bone tissue is usually attained when we reach 21 years old.

The human skeleton provides support to our body by serving as its framework. It also maintains the shape of our body, while skeletal muscles found on the skeleton enable body movements. It also acts as a shield for our vital organs including the brain, spinal cord, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

Bones play a critical role in the production of blood cells as they are a site where blood cellular components are formed in the bone marrow, a process called hematopoiesis. They also store calcium and iron, contribute in regulating glucose and in depositing fat through the release of osteocalcin.

 

Are Teeth considered Bones?

One of the most frequently asked question when it comes to bones is its association with teeth. The confusion is understandable as they seem to demonstrate similar characteristics.

Bones are white, strong, and act as a storage of calcium. Teeth are also white, considered as the strongest part of our body, and they store calcium too.

However, despite both having the same component (calcium phosphate), bones contain living tissues which allow for their continuous remodeling and healing. Sadly, for the teeth, no living tissue is present in them, making self-repair difficult for them.

Still, like bones, teeth can grow stronger and function better with the help of calcium.

 

How can Calcium help my teeth?

Calcium is beneficial in helping muscles, nerves, and cells work properly. It regulates muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve conduction. It also supports blood cell function and synthesis.

Calcium also aids in maintaining optimal bone and oral health by keeping them healthy. Low level of calcium can pose problems in reaching the full potential adult height, especially in children. It can also lead to osteoporosis due to lower bone mass.

Low level of calcium increases the likelihood of periodontal disease, dental caries, and jaw-joint problems like temporomandibular jaw joint disorder or TMJ.

 

How much calcium do I need to keep it at a healthy level?

The stipulated minimum daily calcium is 1,000 milligrams for children four years old and older. However, other reports specify consuming 1,000 milligrams for women 50 years old and older, and 1,200 milligrams for women older than 50.

In another study reported at the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 500 to 700 milligrams of calcium are deemed enough to satisfy the calcium needed by the body.

 

Where can I get calcium?

Calcium is available in most foods such as dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt, fortified tofu, seafood like sardines and salmon, vegetables like green beans, fruits like oranges, and nuts like almonds.

Food and Dental Health

Food is essential in keeping our overall health in check. It is the “source of information” of our body and the key to its right functioning.

But, it is not enough that we eat. We must ingest the right food to sustain our body with the proper nourishment.

When we eat right, we maintain a healthy weight, reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases, and promote overall health. Unhealthy eating habits and a poor diet can lead to obesity, health risks like heart disease, diabetes cancer, and hypertension.

Eating the wrong food also affects our oral health. Inadequate nutrition is linked to gum diseases and tooth decay because it weakens our immune system and heightens the risk of infection.

How can you keep your oral and overall health in check? Eat right and lead a healthy lifestyle. Simple, right? But, these words will always be easier said than done. It’s not a hopeless case either because, with determination, patience, and discipline, it is achievable.

Here’s how:

  • Have variety in your food intake by including vegetables, lean meat, fruits, low-fat dairy foods, lean protein, and grains.

A serving of leafy vegetables is rich in vitamins and minerals including calcium and folic acids. Calcium and folic acids help strengthen the enamel and prevent gum diseases.  Another vegetable you can consider adding to your plate is broccoli which contains iron, antioxidants, and vitamin C.

  • Limit your snacks especially those that contain artificial sugar as it helps in acid production, wears the enamel, and cause a cavity.

Opt for healthier snacks like yogurt, milk, cheese, celery, carrot, and apple which stimulate saliva production. Celery, carrot, and apple are also sources of vitamin A and C for stronger gums. On the one hand, yogurt can combat harmful bacteria through its probiotics. Along with cheese and milk, yogurt can also neutralize the acids in our mouth. You can even munch on some cashews which have microbe-fighting properties to destroy bacteria.

  • Keep a good hydration level. Drinking water gives you a cleaner mouth, fresher breath, stronger teeth, and moist mouth.

Water rinses away food particles which oral bacteria can feed on, reducing the risk of cavities, bad breath, among others. It also moistens the mouth, encouraging the production of saliva.

  • Lessen intake of unhealthy foods like coffee, cake, soda, candies, etc., because of their high-sugar component. Also, coffee can cause teeth discoloration.

Aside from a nutrient-filled diet, avoid activities like smoking and drinking alcohol which are harmful to oral health and our overall well-being.