Take your vitamins…

How many times did you hear your mother say, “Did you take your vitamins?”  I know as a kid my Mom would say this to me every morning before school as she would dole out our Flintstone vitamins. But seriously, vitamins do play a major role in our health, but did you know that certain vitamins can help with your dental health?  Doctors have found that Calcium and Vitamin D not only help your bones but can help strengthen your teeth as well.

According to WebMD… “If you’re supplementing your diet with calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone loss, you may be more likely to hang onto your pearly whites, according to a report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Toronto.”

To explore the role of supplementation on tooth retention, the researchers followed more than 140 older adults for five years. Participants took either a placebo or 500 mg of calcium plus 700 units of vitamin D daily for three years. Both during and after the trial, their teeth were examined periodically.

For those who took supplements, the likelihood of losing one or more teeth was 40% less, even two years later. Tooth loss was also linked to the number of cavities, frequency of flossing, and use of thiazide diuretics, a type of medication that helps lower blood pressure.

Adding vitamins like calcium and vitamin D to your morning regime can not only help you feel better and have stronger bones, but can help save your teeth.

Be sure not to overdo though. The recommended upper limits are 2,500 mg a day for calcium and 1,000 units a day for vitamin D. Any more than that could be toxic. Be sure to check with your doctor if you take more than the recommended amount.

And don’t forget to brush and floss daily as well. Your Mom would be proud!



Osteoporosis and your Teeth

When you think of Osteoporosis you probably think of your bones and not your teeth, but your teeth can be one of the first places that show you might be in danger of developing Osteoporosis.  If you’re a woman, particularly those over the age of 50, you’re more likely to show signs of the disease.

Since Osteoporosis weakens bones by reducing their density, symptoms of tooth loss or gum disease could indicate early stages of Osteoporosis. Your dentist may be able to detect the beginnings of the disease based on your oral symptoms, the results of your x-rays, examinations, as well as your medical history. This is why you should see your dentist regularly, because preventive care is essential to maintaining your oral as well as your overall health.

Signs of Osteoporosis

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there are several signs that alert dentists to the possibility of osteoporosis:

  • Bone Loss in the Jaw:  This may be a sign of bone loss in other parts of the body.
  • Tooth Loss:  Studies suggest that women with low bone mineral density tend to lose more teeth.
  • Ill-fitting Dentures in Post-Menopausal Women: Studies show that post-menopausal women with osteoporosis need new dentures three times more often after age 50 than women without osteoporosis. Bone loss may become so severe that it may be impossible to create functional dentures. Without the aid of dentures to chew many types of food, older patients may suffer severe nutritional deficiencies.

If your dentist suspects you have osteoporosis, they can refer you to a physician for medical assessment and subsequent treatment. In addition to scheduling regular dentist visits, you can help prevent osteoporosis by:

  • Getting enough calcium each day, through diet or supplements (women/1,200mg; men/800mg; anyone over age 65/1,500mg)
  • Adding vitamin D to your diet
  • Exercising
  • Quitting smoking
  • Decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake

If you are worried about bone loss or think you may be suffering from Osteoporosis, call our office at Brogdon Dental for an assessment. We’re concerned about your overall health.