How Osteoporosis Endangers Your Oral Health

Nov 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Fresno General Dentistry, Patient Education

osteoporosis_fresno_dentistOsteoporosis is a chronic disease that dramatically weakens your bones, leaving them frail and brittle. As the framework that holds your body in position, your bones carry a lot of responsibility. For them to do their job properly and effectively, they must remain healthy and strong. The change is so dramatic that a fall or even a rough cough can cause a bone to fracture or break. A severely weakened skeletal structure can also significantly affect your oral health. Fresno dentists Dr. Alex Denes and Dr. Claudia Denes explain what the complications of osteoporosis can mean for the health of your mouth.

Weakened Oral Support

When most people think of oral health, the first thought that typically comes to mind is of your teeth and gums. However, like all good body systems, your oral health relies on a sturdy foundation. Your mouth’s foundation consists of the supporting jawbone structure. When this foundation is compromised, every part of your oral health is at risk. Because the roots of your teeth are embedded into your jawbone, the health of your bones can determine how well you hold on to all of your teeth. Also, if you need to replace a tooth, your options become limited. A dental implant is the best option for tooth replacement because it is the only option that replaces your lost tooth root as well as the crown (top part of the tooth). If your jawbone is not dense or strong enough, an implant may not be an option, or you may require extensive bone grafting to reinforce the jaw before an implant can be considered.

Osteoporosis Medication and Oral Health

If you have osteoporosis, or any other bone disease, your doctor may have prescribed a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. These drugs help prevent the loss of bone mass by binding to the bone’s surface to interrupt cells called “osteoclasts,” which actively work to dissolve bone structure. For all of their benefits, however, bisphosphonates can prove disastrous to your oral health. Experts are not certain what causes Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ), but it is considered to be a side-effect of bisphosphonate therapy. BRONJ describes a condition where an area of your jawbone has died and become exposed. Other than exposed bone, other symptoms include localized pain, severe gum inflammation, and loose teeth that were previously stable. The exposed bone, however, is usually the telling sign of BRONJ.

Patients that undergo dental procedures while undergoing bisphosphonate therapy comprise nearly 60% of BRONJ cases. If you suffer from bone disease and plan on taking bisphosphonates, visit our Fresno dentist office to ensure that your oral health is up to par before beginning therapy. To learn more about osteoporosis and dental health, or to schedule your dental consultation, contact your Fresno dentists by calling Fresno Dental Studio at (559) 297-1800. Located in the 93720 area, we proudly serve patients from Fresno, Clovis, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.

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