Bone health and dental health: Is there a connection?

dentists Denton CountyMany people develop osteoporosis as they age. The condition results in weaker bones that are more prone to fractures. Osteoporosis is primarily associated with women, but it can also affect men.

Osteoporosis is a concern for dentists because one of the most important structures in the mouth is the jawbone. If the jawbone loses its strength, a number of problems can arise.

If you have developed osteoporosis, regular visits to a dentist become even more important. Research has shown a potential link between osteoporosis and the loss of bone in the jaw, which can also lead to tooth loss. In fact, the National Institutes of Health notes that women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to lose their teeth than women who do not have this condition.

Furthermore, patients with osteoporosis may face more obstacles in replacing those missing teeth after they have been lost. If osteoporosis has caused jaw bone loss, patients may not be eligible for dental implants, and dentures may quickly lose their fit.

A class of medications known as bisphosphonates is often prescribed as a treatment for osteoporosis. However, some scientific evidence suggests that bisphosphonates may cause a breakdown of the jawbone. If you are taking any of these medications, be sure to make your dentist aware of it. You and your dentist will want to be looking for any signs of problems with the jawbone.

Dentists can also play an important role in diagnosing osteoporosis. If a dentist spots signs of decreased bone density on a dental x-ray, that dentist can refer the patient to a physician for further treatment of the condition.

Your dentist may also be able to recommend steps to help you prevent bone loss, such as increasing your intake of vitamin D and calcium along with doing more weight-bearing exercise.

The link between bone health and oral health is just one of many systemic connections between the health of your teeth and gums and your overall well-being. Be sure to keep your semiannual dentist appointments, even as you get older, to maintain good health.

For more information and to schedule a consultation, contact our team of dentists serving Denton County.