Osteoporosis is becoming increasingly more common among adults over 50 years of age. Osteoporosis, much like dental disease, can silently but seriously undermine your health.
Osteoporosis and Teeth
Osteoporosis occurs when the process responsible for building new bone slows down, allowing the process that breaks down bone to continue. Bones become more porous and brittle. Osteoporosis is generally not felt until there is a bone fracture. When the bone supporting your teeth is compromised, teeth become prone to loosening.
Connection to Gum Disease
Moderate to advanced gum disease causes the gradual breakdown of bone surrounding teeth. Studies suggest that while osteoporosis in itself does not cause periodontal (gum) disease, its presence can increase the destructive effects of periodontal disease.
Additionally, the gradual degeneration of bone can cause dentures to quickly become uncomfortable because of changes in the shape of the underlying bone.
A class of medications called bisphosphonates are commonly used to stop the body’s process of breaking down bone. Because this process is stopped, the jawbone can have difficulty healing. Tooth extractions or surgery on the jaw while taking these medications can lead to a serious condition in which bone tissue rapidly deteriorates.
What You Can Do
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D in addition to a routine of weight-bearing exercise can help strengthen and fortify your bones to lower the risk of osteoporosis. If you are about to begin a course of medication to treat osteoporosis, our dentist will collaborate with your physician to determine the best plan for providing dental care. Don’t put off necessary dental work! The longer you wait, the greater the chances that osteoporosis will jeopardize the success of dental treatment.
Schedule an appointment with Back Bay Dental Care so we can help you combat the effects of osteoporosis on your dental health.