Osteoporosis and Oral Health
Osteoporosis is a condition in which a patient sees reduced density and quality of their bones. This condition can also have harmful dental affects because of its impact on the jawbone, which is what supports your teeth. If you have osteoporosis, here’s how it could affect your oral health.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones. Healthline explains the inside of a healthy bone is made up of small spaces and looks a lot like a honeycomb. When a patient is diagnosed with osteoporosis, this means that those spaces are increasing in size which causes the bones to lose strength and density. Further, this makes the outside of the bone grow weaker and thinner. People with this condition are more likely to experience a fracture or bone break while doing simple activities like standing or walking.
Healthline further details the risk factors for developing this condition. The major risk factors can include:
- Age – this is often the biggest risk factor. When we’re young, our body breaks down old bones and is able to grow new. However, after a certain age, the body breaks these bones down faster than it’s able to replace it. This leads to loss of bone density and more fragile bones.
- Menopause – another major risk factor is menopause Women from 45-55 years old are often to lose bone at a faster rate due to the change in hormone levels. Men often lose bones around these ages too, however, it happens at a much slower rate than women. By ages 65-70, men and women are usually losing bones at the same rate.
While those are the most common causes, other causes can include being:
- White or Asian
- Genetically inclined
- A smoker
- Low in weight
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
People who suffer from osteoporosis can easily suffer an injury from doing simple tasks like walking or bumping into the coffee table. In the early development of this condition, many people won’t even realize they have it until they suffer an injury. However, once the bones are weakened, symptoms can include:
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- Stooped posture
- Fragile bones
However, the bones affected aren’t just your hips or wrists, it can also be your jaw. Studies have shown that there is a link between the loss of jaw bone, also known as the alveolar bone, and an increase in loose teeth and tooth loss. This low bone density in the jaw can cause more dental problems as well. It can also cause dentures to not fit correctly and delay in healing from other oral surgical procedures. More often than not, this affects women and their jaws.
Treatments for Osteoporosis
Unfortunately, it’s hard to completely heal from this condition. However, the good news is that there are things you can do to feel better. There are medications to help, along with making lifestyle changes to help you feel relief from the pain.
Thankfully, you can do a lot to keep your bones strong and healthy as you age. If you’re not doing these already, here’s what you can do to help protect your bones:
- Supplement vitamin D or get outside and get it from the sunshine
- Eat a healthy diet. Foods like fish, cheese, and dairy all have loads of vitamin D
- Quit smoking
- Exercise to stay strong
In addition to taking care of your body to protect your bones, you should also protect your teeth to keep them healthy and strong.
Taking Care of Your Teeth with Osteoporosis
In addition to everything above, you should focus on taking care of your teeth when you have osteoporosis. A good oral hygiene routine is essential to doing all you can to prevent tooth loss. Ideally, your dental hygiene routine should look like:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
- Flossing once a day to remove debris stuck between teeth
However, one of the most important parts of your dental hygiene routine is seeing your dentist regularly. Getting regular dental checkups can help maintain any problems you already have or treat them altogether, prevent new problems from happening, and get your mouth sparkling clean each time.
Make an Appointment with Dr. Ania
If you are having jaw problems or other dental health issues, make an appointment today with Dr. Ania. Dr. Ania focuses on your oral health, but also looks at how your oral health relates to other parts of your body. Using biological dentistry, Dr. Ania will consider the whole picture before prescribing treatments to help alleviate chronic pain and stress points. Make an appointment to learn more today: (303)-872-9940.