When most people think about osteoporosis, they think about bones and people who break a hip during a fall. The word osteoporosis itself means porous bone. The bones become porous because they lose important proteins and minerals, making them very fragile. Someone suffering from osteoporosis can break a bone very easily and, once broken, the healing process takes longer. What most people don't realize is that osteoporosis can affect your mouth, too.
This skeletal disorder affects mostly older women due to the change in hormonal levels as they age. But it can also affect men and younger women as well. This disorder weakens the bones in your skeletal system and makes them susceptible to breaking. Since the bones in your jaw may also be affected, choose a dentist who has the skills to deal with osteoporosis. This may involve using different instruments or different techniques to lessen the possibility of damaging your jaw. If your jaw should fracture, you may need to find an oral surgeon to repair it.
It is particularly important that you pay close attention to oral hygiene to keep bacteria from infecting your gums and leading to problems that might require any kind of dental surgery. Some osteoporosis patients are treated with prescription drugs called bisphosphonates that can reduce the risk of fracture, but some jaw complications have been linked to their use. This could cause difficulty during a tooth extraction or a dental implant. Inform your dentist if you are using any of these drugs so your dental professional can look for indications of possible jaw problems during your regular exams. Over time, bisphosphonates may also increase your risk of jawbone infections during dental work. If possible, try to have any major dental work completed before you begin taking these prescription medications.
ChooseYourDentist.com is your go-to source for dental information and dental education. If you are concerned about osteoporosis, use our dental profiles to help find a general dentist or oral surgeon who can help because ChooseYourDentist.com is "where patients and dentists meet."