Osteoporosis & Your Oral Health
Did you know bone is active living tissue that serves several purposes? Not only is it the structural foundation for our bodies, but your bones also support muscles, protect vital organs, and stores most of the body’s calcium. Bones are made up of elastic fibers called collagen and crystals of calcium phosphate. These substances form the hardened yet flexible structure.
During the course of our life, a natural process occurs where bone is removed by osteoclast cells and new bone is formed via osteoblast cells. The structure of our bone weakens as we get older. Osteoporosis can impact any bone in the body, it is not partial to any one particular area. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis you may be concerned with how this may impact your oral health.
A link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw has been shown through research. If your jaw bone becomes less dense tooth loss can occur because the jaw bone is the support and anchor for our teeth Women with osteoporosis have been shown to be three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those that do not have osteoporosis, according to the National Institute of Health. Other dental care issues such as loose fitting dentures, receding gums, and poor surgical outcomes may result due to poor bone density in the jaw.
Another concern is periodontitis which is a chronic condition that affects the gums and bones. This infection breaks down the bone and connective tissue responsible for holding the teeth in place. With osteoporosis, there may be an increased the risk for periodontitis because of the decreased bone density and it being more susceptible to bacteria. However, we still don’t know if periodontitis has a direct relationship with osteoporosis.
At Periodontal Associates of Jackson in Jackson, MS, we take the approach that improving your overall bone health will cascade into improved oral health as well. We will recommend a well-rounded treatment plan to improve bone health, in addition to a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise, avoid smoking and also limit your alcohol intake. And of course regular routine oral care is essential.
For more information on the link between osteoporosis and oral health, click here.