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Does low calcium cause oral health problems in women?

Low calcium levels are uncommon in women, but when it happens, calcium deficiency may be related to inflammation of gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Nursing mothers, menopausal women, women who are very athletic, and women with lactose intolerance may be at risk of not getting enough calcium in their diets. Also, vegetarians are at risk of not getting enough vitamin D or calcium, which might increase the risk of decay and periodontal disease. Vegetarians may have low calcium levels if they consume a lot of plant products that have phytic and oxalic acid, which can interfere with calcium absorption in the body. Low calcium can also cause muscle cramps, fatigue, lack of appetite, abnormal heart rhythms and numbness in the extremities.

Be sure to get enough calcium in your diet and/or with supplements, but don't overdo it. There can be serious health risks if you supplement with too much calcium. This can cause a blood condition called hypercalcemia that can harm your kidneys. If you take too much calcium, your body might not be able to absorb other minerals that you need. Most of the time, however, hypercalcemia is due to thyroid problems. The US Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that women take no more than 2,500 mg of calcium a day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.