Oral Health and Bone Disease (cont.)
In this Article
- Introduction to oral health and bone disease
- How does skeletal bone density affect the teeth?
- Is there a link between periodontal disease and bone health?
- Can dental X-rays detect osteoporosis?
- Does treating osteoporosis improve my oral health?
- Where can I find tips on improving my bone health?
- Where can I find more information on oral health and bone disease?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
The Role of the Dentist and Dental X-rays
Research supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) suggests that dental x-rays may be used as a screening tool for osteoporosis. Researchers found that dental x-rays were highly effective in distinguishing people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density.
Since many people see their dentist more regularly then their doctor, dentists are in a unique position to help identify people with low bone density and to encourage them to talk to their doctors about their bone health. Dental concerns that may indicate low bone density include loose teeth, gums detaching from the teeth or receding gums, and ill-fitting or loose dentures.
The Effects of Osteoporosis Treatments on Oral Health
It is not known whether osteoporosis treatments have the same beneficial effect on oral health as they do on other bones in the skeleton. While additional research is needed to fully clarify the relationship between osteoporosis and oral bone loss, scientists are hopeful that efforts to optimize skeletal bone density will have a favorable impact on dental health.
Of concern is the fact that bisphosphonates, a group of medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis, have been linked to the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The risk of ONJ has been greatest in those receiving large doses of intravenous bisphosphonates, a therapy used to treat cancer. The occurrence of ONJ is rare in individuals taking oral forms of the medication for osteoporosis treatment.
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