We’ve all been told (and many of us tell our children) that milk builds strong bones. But our nutritional and dietary preferences are not only widely varied, they also change from time to time. Does milk really “do a body good”? Some believe it does, and others believe it doesn’t.
Regardless of your take, you’re not alone. Today, millions of people follow vegan or vegetarian diets, and tens of millions of people are lactose intolerant. Whether or not you choose to avoid dairy for health or other personal reasons, here are some thoughts from Dr Nemeth and his team.
Calcium and Vitamin D Play a Key Role in Oral Health
It’s true that dairy products are full of calcium, and often supplemented with vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium and other bone-building minerals). While people on specialized diets (including vegans and vegetarians) are typically very careful about eating healthy, there’s still a risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiency.
One of the dangers in calcium and vitamin D deficiency is the increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. In addition, these deficiencies can weaken your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Gum health is one of the main ways your teeth stay in your mouth! Without the right vitamins and minerals, your mouth’s defenses may be down.
Need a Good Source of Calcium? Dairy Isn’t the Only Option!
The good news is that, if you choose, you can get these nutrients from alternative sources. For example, just one ounce of sesame seeds contains almost as much calcium as an entire glass of milk. Other major sources of calcium are dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens. Dr. Nemeth and his team love to take advantage of the calcium in dark leafy greens by drinking a salad blend every morning.
When it comes to vitamin D, surprisingly, your best source is the sun!
When exposed to the sun’s radiation, your body naturally produces vitamin D. But of course, be careful and use common sense—you also know the potential problems associated with prolonged/unprotected sun exposure, so be sure to wear sunscreen!
There are also a number of things we can eat and drink that are “fortified” with calcium and vitamin D including soy milk, orange juice and some breakfast cereals. You can also consider taking supplements.
We want all of our patients to avoid having periodontal (gum) disease, but if a problem does arise Dr. Nemeth is here to help! The services our office offers range from traditional osseous gum surgery to Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation. Dr. Nemeth & Associates consistently go above and beyond to help you and your families achieve and maintain healthy gums and mouth.
Do you have questions about this topic? Contact us at (248) 357-3100! Do you have suggestions for others who may be wondering about other sources for their daily calcium? Let us know! Leave a comment on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you!
And, as always, thank you for being our valued patient!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.