When you think of Osteoporosis you probably think of your bones and not your teeth, but your teeth can be one of the first places that show you might be in danger of developing Osteoporosis. If you’re a woman, particularly those over the age of 50, you’re more likely to show signs of the disease.
Since Osteoporosis weakens bones by reducing their density, symptoms of tooth loss or gum disease could indicate early stages of Osteoporosis. Your dentist may be able to detect the beginnings of the disease based on your oral symptoms, the results of your x-rays, examinations, as well as your medical history. This is why you should see your dentist regularly, because preventive care is essential to maintaining your oral as well as your overall health.
Signs of Osteoporosis
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there are several signs that alert dentists to the possibility of osteoporosis:
- Bone Loss in the Jaw: This may be a sign of bone loss in other parts of the body.
- Tooth Loss: Studies suggest that women with low bone mineral density tend to lose more teeth.
- Ill-fitting Dentures in Post-Menopausal Women: Studies show that post-menopausal women with osteoporosis need new dentures three times more often after age 50 than women without osteoporosis. Bone loss may become so severe that it may be impossible to create functional dentures. Without the aid of dentures to chew many types of food, older patients may suffer severe nutritional deficiencies.
If your dentist suspects you have osteoporosis, they can refer you to a physician for medical assessment and subsequent treatment. In addition to scheduling regular dentist visits, you can help prevent osteoporosis by:
- Getting enough calcium each day, through diet or supplements (women/1,200mg; men/800mg; anyone over age 65/1,500mg)
- Adding vitamin D to your diet
- Quitting smoking
- Decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake
If you are worried about bone loss or think you may be suffering from Osteoporosis, call our office at Brogdon Dental for an assessment. We’re concerned about your overall health.