May is National Osteoporosis Prevention Month. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones causing them to become weak and easily broken. According to the American College of Physicians (ACP) osteoporosis affects nearly 55% of Americans 50 years of age or older.
Osteoporosis and Dental Health
Osteoporosis and tooth loss affect many older men and women. Studies indicate that this medical condition can lead to increased dental problems – jaw bone loss can cause teeth separation and increased susceptibility to gum disease or dental abscesses. Teeth may eventually become loose, fall out or have to be removed. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to have tooth loss than those with normal bone density.
Osteoporosis and Dentures
Even if you wear dentures and have no teeth, osteoporosis can still impact your oral health. Bone loss can occur in the bony ridges that hold dentures in place causing increased poor fit over time. Studies have shown that patients with osteoporosis require new dentures more often than patients without osteoporosis.
You can take action to prevent osteoporosis:
- Make sure your daily calcium and vitamin D intake are sufficient through diet (dairy, calcium-fortified foods, broccoli and almonds) or supplements
- Exercise (especially weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises)
- Quit smoking
- Decrease your caffeine and alcohol intake
Osteoporosis Screening and Dental Treatment
Your dental x-rays can be used as a screening test for osteoporosis. Your dentist may be able to detect the first stages of osteoporosis and may be the first health professional to identify the early signs. If your physician has told you that you have osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists to evaluate the supporting bone around your teeth. Remember, your overall health has an impact on your oral health!
If you are in more advanced stages of osteoporosis, Blue Hills Dental offers treatment options for patient who may need extractions and/or dentures. Call our Continuing Care Team at (888) 365-6531 to schedule your next visit today.