Osteoporosis and Oral Health

Jul 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Dental News, Preventive Care

osteoporosisDid you know that dental problems can be a sign of other health problems? For instance, a discolored tongue may indicate a vitamin deficiency, and if your teeth show signs of erosion on the back sides, Dr. Denes may suspect you have acid reflux disease or bulimia. If your teeth are suddenly breaking or becoming loose despite good oral care, you may have osteoporosis, an often silent disease that shows few symptoms in the early stages.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by deterioration of bone tissue and an increased risk of bone fracture. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, especially after menopause. Other risk factors include hormone problems, low body weight, advanced age, low calcium or vitamin D intake, steroid use, and a history of eating disorders. Osteoporosis often shows no warning signs until you fracture a bone or experience pain.

How does osteoporosis affect my oral health?

You need healthy jawbone structure to support your teeth, and a loss of bone density can cause your teeth to loosen and possibly fall out. Because teeth are also bones, they can become weak and vulnerable to breakage just like the other bones in your body. Osteoporosis can also affect the success of a dental implant procedure, requiring bone grafting so that you will have enough bone tissue to support the implants.

How can I prevent osteoporosis?

There are several ways you can help lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, including:

  • Doing weight-bearing exercise. Any exercise that strengthens the muscles also strengthens the bones by stimulating their cells to build new tissue.
  • Consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is an essential mineral that helps keep your bones strong, and vitamin D helps you absorb and retain calcium.
  • Avoiding substances or habits that weaken the bones. Cigarettes, alcohol, and carbonated colas cause bone tissue deterioration. Compulsive exercise and eating disorders also weaken your bones.

If you have questions about osteoporosis and oral health, call Drs. Alex and Claudia Denes today at (559) 297-1800 to schedule an appointment. Fresno Dental Studio happily serves patients from Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding communities.

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