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Osteoporosis and Oral Health

osteoporosis and oral health
Posted on: May 31st, 2023 by | No Comments

Approximately 10 million people are estimated to have osteoporosis, a disease that affects bone density. It literally means “porous bone,” and it can weaken bones to the point of making them brittle. When it comes to oral health, osteoporosis can also affect your jaw and teeth. In fact, receding gums are among the symptoms, and your dentist may be the first to suspect osteoporosis as a factor in your oral and overall health.

About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is mostly associated with older women, but men can be affected, too. Hormonal changes can be a factor, as can a diet lacking calcium, excessive alcohol use, smoking, and other medical conditions. While it may be passed down genetically, exercise, diet, and lifestyle are keys to avoiding osteoporosis. Medications and supplements can be prescribed by a physician to help treat the disease and potentially avoid fractures.

Bone Health Tips

Increase for bone health:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Exercise

Eliminate or limit for bone health:

  • Smoking and smoke exposure
  • Caffeine intake
  • Alcohol consumption

Review Your Comprehensive Guide to Oral Health for more tips!

Teeth, Gums, and Osteoporosis

When it comes to oral health, bone loss and tooth loss can become major issues. Because the jawbone supports the teeth, losing density in the bone can result in loose teeth, retraction of gums, and loose dentures. Your dental x-rays and examinations can reveal the first stages of osteoporosis. When you visit with your dentist, be sure to tell him about any loose teeth or gum issues you have noticed.

Dental Care and Osteoporosis Treatment

If you receive a diagnosis of osteoporosis and treatment from your doctor, share that information with your dentist. It is also important to let your dentist know if you are taking any medications for osteoporosis or other medical issues.

Some of the osteoporosis medications—the ones called antiresorptive agents—come with risk factors associated with the jawbone. Osteonecrosis of the jaw, or deterioration of the jaw, can occur when a person is taking oral or injected versions of these drugs. They go by the names Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel and other names. Some antiresorptive agents are prescribed to cancer patients, too.

To learn more, read this article about osteonecrosis of the jaw and osteoporosis medications.

Regular Oral Care and Osteoporosis

If you have a family history of osteoporosis, discuss this with your doctor as well as your dentist. They will encourage you to take your oral health seriously to protect you from the potential deterioration of your jawbone and dental health. Osteoporosis and other health conditions have been linked with oral health care, so be sure to take care of your teeth and oral health so you can have better health and a good quality of life.

The key takeaway here is to talk to your dentist about any new diagnoses, medications, or health concerns, especially as you age. Make and keep regular appointments at Uptown Dental to ensure your best smile—and overall health! Contact us today for your appointment.