Phosphorus: How Important Is This Mineral for Your Teeth And Jaws?

If you brush and floss your teeth regularly but still experience tooth decay or problems with your jawbones, you may be deficient in phosphorus. Like calcium and vitamin D, phosphorus is a key mineral for strong teeth. The mineral also plays an important role in keeping your jawbones healthy and functional.
As much as 85 percent of your body's phosphorus content lies in your teeth and bones. You can become deficient in phosphorus if you don't eat a varied diet or if you have a health problem that affects how you absorb or use phosphorus and other minerals.
Here's how phosphorus protects your oral health and what you can do to get the most out of the mineral.
How Can You Become Deficient in Phosphorus?    
Different things can affect the phosphorus levels in your body, including a poor or unvaried diet. Although dairy products, meat, seafood and vegetables contain sufficient levels of phosphorus, you can become deficient in the mineral if you don't eat enough of each food group or if you can't eat any of these types of foods.
Most adults over 19 years of age need about 700 milligrams of phosphorus to stay healthy. If you like to eat only one or two particular types of food for meals, such as chicken and broccoli, you might not obtain the milligrams of phosphorus you need each day. Proteins like chicken contain only 157 to 180 milligrams of the mineral per serving.
Conditions like celiac disease that affect how the body absorbs nutrients can interfere with how well your teeth and bones absorb calcium. Calcium needs phosphorus to help it work and absorb into your body. If you don't have enough phosphorus in your body, the calcium you do manage to obtain goes to waste.
It's also possible for your phosphorus levels to be reduced because you receive certain treatments or take certain medications, including diuretics and blood pressure medications. The medications can inhibit or prevent your body from absorbing or using phosphorus, or the drugs can interact negatively with phosphorus.
With the right steps, you can replenish the phosphorus in your body and protect your teeth and gums at the same time.
How Do You Get Enough Phosphorus in Your Diet?
Unless you have a health condition that limits what you eat, you can increase the phosphorus in your teeth and bones by adding more food groups to your daily diet. For example, instead of eating just chicken or beef for meals, try halibut, sardines or another type of fish. You can also opt for protein-based foods like beans and lentils.
Phosphorus is also plentiful in dairy foods, such as cottage cheese and cheddar cheese. You can always combine these foods with strawberries, kiwi and blueberries. If you have a health condition or take a medication that affects how you absorb or use phosphorus and calcium, ask your doctor for advice on what to eat.
Also, see a dentist about your tooth decay or jawbone problems. Cavities can become worse or lead to tooth loss, even in adults. Jawbone conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder can potentially lead to pain, inflammation and problems with eating.
A dental provider may be able to fill your cavities or place crowns on your teeth. The treatments restore and protect your teeth from future decay. If the decay is too bad, a dentist may perform a root canal treatment on your teeth. 
To treat temporomandibular joint disorder, a dental provider may ask you to wear a mouth guard at night. The guard stabilizes and prevents pain in your jawbones. If necessary, a dentist may surgically repair the damage to your jaws.
You can learn more about phosphorus and why your teeth and jaws need it by contacting Wasson Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment.