Bone disease, particularly osteoporosis, is one of the most common health concerns among older men and women. Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become less dense, making them weaker, more brittle, and more likely to fracture. In the US alone, at least 50 million people are either at high risk for osteoporosis or already have it. And according to studies, there is a connection between bone loss in the jaw and osteoporosis.

Bone Disease affects oral health

Reduced Bone Density

Since the jaw bone functions to support and anchor the teeth in place if it becomes weak due to decreased bone density than tooth loss can occur. Numerous studies have found that individuals, especially women, have three times more chance to suffer tooth loss compared to those who do not have osteoporosis. Aside from tooth loss, reduced bone density also leads to other dental problems. Patients who wear dentures are more likely to have loose or ill-fitting dentures, while those who have had surgery may experience poor healing and less optimal outcomes.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an oral health problem that affects the supporting structures of the teeth. Severe forms of periodontitis cause breakdown of the bone and connective tissue which, eventually, could cause the involved teeth to fall out or become loose and eventually be removed.

Bone Disease Treatment

Experts, however, are hopeful that increased bone density has a favorable effect on dental health.

One of the most common medications used to treat osteoporosis is a group of drugs called bisphosphonates. The risk for such is greatest for patients who receive large doses of the drug administered intravenously, which is mostly used for treating bone cancer.  Osteoradionecrosis is uncommon in individuals taking the medication in oral form.

Promoting Bone and Oral Health

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for keeping your bones strong and healthy. To optimize bone health, eat a well-balanced diet rich in vitamin D and calcium. Exercise on a regular basis and focus on doing weight-bearing and weight-training exercises. It is also advised that you stop smoking (if you do) and limit your alcohol intake. As for your oral health, if you notice any loose teeth, receding gums, or ill-fitting dentures, consult your dentist immediately.