The relationship between calcium and alveolar bone loss in women aged 40 to 60 years

Calcium deficiency is considered to be one of the important factors contributing to the development of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women have a high incidence of osteoporosis and low mean daily calcium intakes. Alveolar bone loss may be an indicator of osteoporosis and this research sought to determine if there was a relationship between past and present calcium intake and alveolar bone loss in women aged 40 to 60 years. Selected female dental patients were surveyed and examined. Statistical analysis indicated that there was no significant relationship. The mean daily calcium intake met the RDA only when supplements were taken in addition to dietary sources. Calcium carbonate, the most commonly taken supplement, was prescribed either by the subject or a physician and had generally been taken for a year or less. Half of the sample had alveolar bone loss indicative of some degree of periodontal disease.· Homen in the 50 to 60 year age group taking estrogen had less alveolar bone loss than those not taking estrogen in the same age group. The majority of the sample were not currently consuming dairy products and Chi square analysis of past dairy consumption with familial history of osteoporosis showed no significant association.