Osteoporosis vs. Your Teeth

Did you know that up to 40 million people in the United States suffer from osteoporosis? Osteoporosis (low bone density) is defined as a condition in which the bones lose density and become more fragile. Not only does this condition affect your bones, but it affects your teeth and oral health as well. Why? Simply put, when you lose bone and bone density in the jaw, your teeth become insecure and may even fall out. If you or someone that you know are one of the 40 million Americans that suffers from low bone density, know that there is hope and there are ways to prevent tooth loss.

Risk Factors

Although osteoporosis and osteopenia (a mild form of osteoporosis) more commonly affect elderly people, these conditions may also affect those considered to be “at-risk.” The following factors put you at an increased risk for osteoporosis:

  • Calcium and vitamin D deficiency
  • Women who are post-menopause
  • Gender (Women are more likely to suffer from low bone density)
  • Race (Asian and Caucasian populations are affected more)
  • Age (More common in middle-aged people and the elderly)
  • People taking anticonvulsants and/or glucocorticoid medications
  • Cigarette smoking addiction
  • Those with a low body mass index (BMI)

How osteoporosis affects your teeth

Recent studies have shown that there is a link between tooth loss, instability (loose teeth) and jaw bone loss. If a disease such as osteoporosis weakens the bones in the body, it will likely weaken the jaw bone as well. When the jaw is not strong enough to support teeth, the teeth may loosen and fall out.

A finding reported by the Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center (2012) stated that women with low bone density are three times more likely to suffer from tooth loss than those who do not suffer from low bone density. Furthermore, osteoporosis patients that use removable dentures may have issues with the fit of the dentures due to changes in bone density over time.

If you use removable dentures, learn more about how you can permanently secure them for a better fit with Teethxpress here.

What you can do to prevent low bone density

If you fit any of the aforementioned risk factors for low bone density, there are things you can do to prevent tooth loss. Simple lifestyle changes can make a huge impact! Consider making some of these changes:

  • Increase your daily intake of calcium and vitamin D
  • Incorporate weight-bearing exercises into your fitness routine to strengthen your bones
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • If you smoke, quit

 

If you suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia, ensure that you are getting the proper dental care to prevent tooth loss. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day or as directed by your dentist, and floss daily. If you experience tooth loss and/or tooth instability, it is imperative that you visit your dentist as teeth cannot heal themselves!

Advanced DDS is a dental office in Garden City, NY that provides exceptional, high-quality results to all of our patients. Whether you come in for a dental cleaning or cosmetic dentistry, we won’t cut corners anywhere. With our full-service, in-house dental lab we create our own materials, eliminating the need for extra appointments and allowing us to have complete control over the quality of your dental care. Schedule your dental appointment at 516-825-1100 today!

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