Calcium plays an important role within your body, not just in regulating overall health but also helping to keep your bones, teeth and jaw strong. If you are deficient in calcium, you may experience a host of issues including irregular heartbeat, nerve and muscle problems, hormonal imbalance and difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 to name a few.
Calcium can be found in many of the foods and drinks we consume daily, but those who don’t get enough from these sources should be aware of the serious consequences. If a lack of calcium is observed, your body will start to take calcium from your bones and teeth instead. This will weaken your bones and teeth, placing you at an elevated risk for damage, tooth decay and osteoporosis.
Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency (hypocalcemia)
People who are deficient in calcium may exhibit the following symptoms
- Muscle aches, cramps and spasms
- Dental Concerns – weak roots, brittle teeth, tooth decay and irritated gums.
- Tingling sensation (particularly around the hands, mouth, feet, legs and arms)
- Dry, itchy skin and brittle/broken nails
It is important that you schedule a visit with your GP and dentist as soon as possible if you notice any of the above symptoms.
How much Calcium do humans need?
Many people are under the impression that calcium is only important for the development of children’s teeth, but calcium is beneficial at every stage of life. On average, Australians only get around 850 mg of calcium per day which falls below recommended guidelines for adults. If you are hoping to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible, you should ensure that you consume calcium in accordance with Australian Dietary Guidelines which state:
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
Rich Sources of Calcium
It is best to source calcium from dietary sources where possible, although calcium supplements can be used if you have difficulty meeting the above guidelines. Calcium is found in common foods such as:
Dairy – One of the richest sources of calcium. Milk contains about 367mg per 250ml cup, yoghurt contains about 386mg per 200g tub and cheese about 209mg per slice. Aim to consume at least two dairy products per day.
Firm Tofu – Tofu is a remarkably versatile food which is both delicious and calcium rich, containing about 832mg of calcium per cup. Try swapping meat for tofu in your favourite dishes.
Fish – a 90 gram tin of sardines contains 486mg of calcium. Fish with bonus included will be the most calcium rich, and you can incorporate a mix of fresh and tinned seafood.
Green Vegetables and Nuts – If you’re looking for a quick and tasty snack, reach for green veggies such as kale (172mg per cup), spinach (245mg per cup) and pak choy (158mg per cup). Nuts are also high in calcium, and they can also help in cleaning your teeth. Almonds contain about 387mg calcium per cup, and brazil nuts 212mg per cup.
Book a Check-up at Sydney Park Dental – Your Local Dentist in Sydney
Calcium is incredibly important to the body, helping to ensure optimal bodily function and keeping your bones and teeth strong and healthy. If it’s been a while since your last check-up, please don’t hesitate to call Sydney Park Dental today to schedule an appointment.
Call now on 02 8084 7170, or book an appointment via our website. We look forward to seeing you soon.