Tooth loss in the elderly can be minimized by seeing that they get the recommended dietary allowance of calcium (1000 mg) and vitamin D (400 to 600 IU), new findings suggest. The study involved 145 healthy volunteers older than age 65 years who were randomized to the supplements or placebo for 3 years.
At the end of the study, more than twice as many people in the placebo group had lost 1 or more teeth, compared with the supplement group (27% vs 13%), as reported in Agricultural Research.
At 2 years after study completion, subjects whose calcium intake was more than 1000 mg/d had half the risk of tooth loss of those who consumed less than 1000 mg/d. Although vitamin D is required for absorption of calcium, it was not independently linked with tooth loss.