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Calcium Intake and Salivary Gland Stone Formation

By Suhong Wang

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the human body, comes from diet, dietary supplements and some medicines. Calcium is needed for bones and teeth, vascular contraction, muscle function and nerve transmission. Serum calcium is steady regardless of intake from diet. Bone tissue holds calcium and thus is a reserve source of calcium. Salivary gland stones form in the salivary glands and can block the salivary ducts. People over 40 are more likely to get this problem. The reasons for such stone formation are unknown. One view, that the amount of calcium intake can affect the formation of salivary gland stones, remains arguable.

Relation Between Calcium and Salivary Gland Stones

Calcium deposits can build up as tiny stones in the salivary glands. Though the reasons for stone buildup are not known, most salivary stones consist mainly of calcium. However, the calcium level in the blood usually is normal when a person has salivary gland stones diagnosed. This stone is not related to any other disease.

Calcium Intake

An adult between 19 and 50 should obtain 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, whereas teens should get 1,300 milligrams. Sources of calcium include dairy foods, and some leafy green vegetables are also good sources of calcium. Grains don’t contain much calcium.

Excess Calcium Intake

About 99 percent of the body's calcium is contained in your bones and teeth, with 1 percent found in blood, muscles and other body tissues. It is essential for a person to take enough calcium every day, as the bones will acquire calcium from your blood in the event of deficiency, which can cause osteoporosis as the body uptakes calcium from bones. However, excess calcium intake can cause health problems such as cardiovascular disease. You should avoid calcium supplements unless prescribed by your doctor.

Symptoms of Salivary Gland Stones

The most common symptoms of salivary gland stones include pain and swelling of the affected gland when you eat. This happens when the stone blocks a duct completely as you produce extra saliva while you are eating, and the saliva will pour into the mouth. When the extra saliva can’t flow into the mouth from the duct, the pain occurs.

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