Most people know that calcium is important for bones and teeth. But what many people don't realize is just how important calcium is for teeth. Calcium can be found on the suface of the enamel (study). In fact, the enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.
It's important to ensure you're getting enough calcium in your diet to support your overall health and mouth wellness. Here's a closer look at the role calcium plays in oral health.
What is calcium?
Calcium is a mineral that is found naturally in many foods. It is also added to some supplements. In addition, calcium is necessary for proper bone health (study).* This study also showed that calcium-rich water might be a useful source of calcium for specific populations.
Calcium is also essential for tooth development, as well as for overall good health (study).* It is also important to consider that many of us can show signs of gingivitis, a periodontal condition. It is believed that up to 90% of the population may have some form of gingivitis (NIH).
How does calcium benefits teeth
As we said, the enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. But what exactly is calcium? Calcium is a mineral that is found naturally in food and water.
The body needs calcium to support various functions, including muscle contraction (study), coagulation (study), and nerve function (study).* The vast majority of the calcium in the human body is stored in bones and teeth.
So, how may calcium help keep teeth healthy? Every time you take a bite of food or drink something cold or hot, your teeth are exposed to acids.
These acids may break down tooth enamel - the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects against cavities. When there's not enough calcium in your diet, those acids can weaken tooth enamel and lead to cavities or other problems like gum disease.*
A study found that a high salivary calcium concentration might be a factor in protecting against caries in specific populations.
Tooth enamel is made up mostly of calcium. So when this layer becomes damaged, it's important to get more calcium or other remineralization compounds to help repair the damage (study).*
Calcium may help teeth and oral care in other ways. It may help to make them strong and hard (study).* Second, it helps to repair damage to teeth that have already occurred.* When teeth are first forming, calcium gives them their strength. Once teeth are fully developed, calcium may help to keep them healthy and strong by repairing any damage that may have occurred from chewing or biting hard objects.*
Getting enough calcium
Now that you know how important calcium is for teeth, you're probably wondering how much you need to get each day. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium depends on age and other factors like pregnancy status. For most adults aged 19-50, the RDA for calcium is around 1,000-1305 milligrams per day but this number might change significantly based on weight and other factors. You can find calcium in various foods, including milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy green vegetables, and tofu. You can also get calcium from supplements and teeth & gums vitamins if you're not getting enough through diet alone.
Calcium supplements and teeth & gums vitamins
Calcium supplements may be a good way for some people to ensure they get additional calcium each day as part of their regimen. Calcium supplements come in various forms, including teeth & gums vitamins capsules, chewable teeth supplements, and other oral care supplement powders.
There are several different types of calcium supplements available, but the most common are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Both of these supplements may be absorbed well by the body and provide a good amount of calcium.*
Calcium citrate malate
Calcium citrate malate is a supplement that contains calcium and malic acid. Malic acid is a compound that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It helps the body to absorb calcium better than calcium carbonate (study). That's why calcium citrate malate may be a good choice for people who don't get enough calcium from diet alone.
Calcium from algae
Although calcium is most commonly found in dairy products and other foods, it can also be derived from algae. Algae is a type of aquatic plant that you can find in both fresh and salt water. It is a good source of many nutrients, including calcium.
There are several different types of algae, but one of the most commonly used for supplements is chlorella. Chlorella is a single-celled algae high in protein and minerals, including calcium. One particular study showed that chlorella might be an effective way to improve calcium absorption and help prevent deficiencies.
If you're looking for an alternative to traditional calcium supplements, consider trying a supplement that contains calcium from algae. Algae-based supplements are available in pill, liquid, gummies, tablets, and powder forms. Calcium can be found in some oral care supplements and may be combined with vitamin C and vitamin D.
In conclusion, we can get calcium in sufficient quantity from the food we eat. What's interesting to also remember is that strong teeth start with a healthy diet!
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a calcium supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.