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The Truth About Scurvy

December 3rd, 2018

The Truth About Scurvy

You’ve probably heard it since you were a little kid: calcium will make your bones strong! A healthy supply of vitamins and minerals is essential for nutritional balance and optimizing your body’s natural processes. Calcium, or Vitamin C, is one such vitamin that plays an essential role in things such as keeping a normal heartbeat, sending and receiving nerve signals and yes, fortifying your bones and teeth. So, if you aren’t intaking enough calcium, what could the consequences be for your dental health?

The most infamous side effect of calcium deficiency is scurvy, a gum disease popularized by pirate literature and movies. Is it possible that you are at risk for scurvy as well?  


What are the symptoms?
Fortunately, the occurrence of scurvy in the United States has bene reduced to less than 20,000 cases a year. However, Vitamin C deficiency is still a very common problem affecting 10-14 percent of adults in America and can have negative effects on your teeth and gums.

Vitamin C deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia, is caused by a prolonged lack of calcium intake. Hypocalcemia may impact your gums and teeth in a number of ways, including:

  • Numbness around the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Brittle Teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Irritated Gums
  • Weak Roots (especially dangerous to children with developing teeth)

 If any of these symptoms are present in you, or a member of your family, talk to your dentist about introducing calcium supplements to aid your diet.


How Can I Prevent Vitamin C Deficiency?
Calcium is found naturally in many dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Leafy greens and nuts are also great natural sources of calcium. It is also commonly present in groceries that are fortified with it such as orange juice, cereal and bread. For some it is even necessary to take Vitamin C supplements in addition to a good diet to achieve the right amounts of the vitamin in their body.

However, the best way to find out if you have hypocalcemia and figuring out the best way to combat it is by talking to your dentist. While you may be experiencing unrelated minor pains, it is always better to be safe than sorry! From there, your dentist can recommend the proper course of action.

 

Do you have any questions about Vitamin C or your oral health? Call Winning Smiles at 716-332-2444 today to schedule an appointment with your dentist!


Related Topics: Dental Care