Osteoporosis and Dental Health: What You Need to Know

By: Dr. Samantha Rawdin

World Osteoporosis Day is today, October 20th, and you might be wondering what teeth have to do with bone density. The connection is less about the teeth and more about the jawbones that hold the teeth in place.

Osteoporosis affects the density of bone throughout the body. If the density of your jawbone is affected, it can lead to periodontal disease (where bone is lost around the roots of the teeth), which, in turn, can lead to tooth loss. In fact, studies have shown that women with a diagnosis of osteoporosis were more likely to experience tooth loss than those with bone density values in a normal range.

This is not the only way that osteoporosis can impact oral health. Certain types of medications belonging to the bisphosphonate family are commonly prescribed for women with osteoporosis. In very rare instances, patients taking this medication who subsequently have surgery or other invasive procedures in the mouth can experience impaired healing.

Please note that these medications should NEVER be stopped without consulting your doctor. The vast majority of the time, the risk of stopping the medication far outweighs the risk of developing any unwanted side effects from dental treatment. The bottom line is this: be sure to inform your dentist if you have osteoporosis and what types of medications you are taking for it, if any.

If you have osteoporosis and have questions about your dental health, please call our office at 212-246-8700 or drop us a line at frontdesk@gallery57dental.com.

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