Oral Health and Bone Disease

Quick GuideTop Problems in Your Mouth

Top Problems in Your Mouth

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. Additional research is needed to fully clarify the relationship between osteoporosis and oral bone loss; however, scientists are hopeful that efforts to optimize skeletal bone density will have a favorable impact on dental health.

Bisphosphonates, a group of medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis, have been linked to the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), which is cause for concern. The risk of ONJ has been greatest in patients 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.

Taking steps for healthy bones

A healthy lifestyle can be critically important for keeping bones strong. You can take many important steps to optimize your bone health:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Engage in regular physical activity or exercise. Weight-bearing activities -- such as walking, jogging, dancing, and weight training -- are the best for keeping bones strong.
  • Don't smoke, and limit alcohol intake.
  • Report any problems with loose teeth, detached or receding gums, and loose or ill-fitting dentures to your dentist and your doctor.

SOURCE:

"Oral Health and Bone Disease." NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. Jan. 2012.

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