Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss

bone2Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. More than 53 million Americans either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.

Osteoporosis can affect any bone in the body, but the bones in the hip, spine and wrist are affected most often. Some research also suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jawbone, which supports and anchors the teeth. When the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur, a common occurrence in older adults.

The portion of the jawbone that supports our teeth is known as the alveolar process. Several studies have found a link between the loss of alveolar bone and an increase in loose teeth (tooth mobility) and tooth loss. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those who do not have the disease.

Researchers have found that dental x-rays are highly effective in distinguishing people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density, making them a good screening tool for the disease. So your dentist is in a unique position to help identify patients with low bone density.

Signs of low bone density include loose teeth, gums detaching from the teeth or receding gums, and ill-fitting or loose dentures.

If you are concerned that osteoporosis may be affecting your teeth, please give us a call at Angell’s Dentistry.  Dr. Douglas Angell will be happy to check your mouth and answer your questions. We are committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. We invite you to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

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