Osteoporosis makes the bones in the body weak and brittle, but there are treatment options for this condition. However, some of the medications for osteoporosis treatment can negatively affect the health of your jaw. Here are 6 facts about osteoporosis and oral health.
- Antiresorptive agents are commonly used to treat osteoporosis, but they can cause a rare condition that deteriorates the jaw bone called ONJ (osteonecrosis of the jaw).
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw normally affects individuals after they have had a dental procedure such as a tooth extraction. It is important to tell your dentist that you are taking antiresorptive agents so they can take steps to prevent ONJ.
- Risk factors that contribute to the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw include old age, diabetes, smoking, periodontal disease, and dentures.
- Cancer patients are also more likely to develop ONJ because they often take antiresorptive agents in high dosage to prevent the development of bone problems while they undergo cancer therapy treatments.
- The symptoms of ONJ include jaw pain, swelling, exposure of the jaw bone, loose teeth, gums that will not heal, or a numb feeling in the jaw.
- If an individual has developed ONJ, it is important that they speak with their dentist and physician as soon as possible. Treatment for osteonecrosis of the jaw can involve oral rinses that fight infection, pain medication, or surgery.