Oral Health and Bone Disease (cont.)
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The Role of the Dentist and Dental X-rays
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Research supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) suggests that dental x-rays may be used as a screening tool for osteoporosis. Researchers found that dental x-rays were highly effective in distinguishing people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density.
Since many people see their dentist more regularly then their doctor, dentists are in a unique position to help identify people with low bone density and to encourage them to talk to their doctors about their bone health. Dental concerns that may indicate low bone density include loose teeth, gums detaching from the teeth or receding gums, and ill-fitting or loose dentures.
The Effects of Osteoporosis Treatments on Oral Health
It is not known whether osteoporosis treatments have the same beneficial effect on oral health as they do on other bones in the skeleton. While additional research is needed to fully clarify the relationship between osteoporosis and oral bone loss, scientists are hopeful that efforts to optimize skeletal bone density will have a favorable impact on dental health.
Of concern is the fact that bisphosphonates, a group of medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis, have been linked to the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The risk of ONJ has been greatest in those receiving large doses of intravenous bisphosphonates, a therapy used to treat cancer. The occurrence of ONJ is rare in individuals taking oral forms of the medication for osteoporosis treatment.
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Oral Health and Bone Disease - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with oral health and bone disease.
Oral Health and Bone Disease - Concerns Question: What are your particular concerns regarding low bone density in your jaw and dental health issues?
Oral Health and Bone Disease - Peridontal Disease Question: Do you have peridontal disease? Please discuss the treatments you have received.
Oral Health and Bone Disease - Dental X-rays Question: After receiving X-rays, did your dentist discuss bone density with you? Please share your experience.
Oral Health and Bone Disease - Taking Steps Question: Discuss the steps you've taken to protect your tooth and bone health.