13 Jun Can Osteoporosis Affect Your Teeth?
Did you know that osteoporosis can affect your teeth as well as your bones? At Saba and Romanin Dental Associates, we want to help you understand how bone loss from osteoporosis can impact your oral health, so you can maintain a healthy smile. Continue reading to learn more about osteoporosis and your teeth, and how you can lower your risk of bone and tooth loss.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Throughout your lifetime, your bone tissue constantly gets broken down and replaced through a process called bone remodeling. If you have osteoporosis, however, the development of new bone tissue can no longer keep up with the destruction of old tissue. This results in weak, fragile bones that break or fracture easily. In the United States, around 10 million adults over the age of 50 have osteoporosis.
How Does Osteoporosis Affect Your Teeth?
While osteoporosis does not cause teeth to break like bones, it does make your teeth more likely to become loose and fall out. When your jaw loses its bone density, it becomes too weak to hold your teeth in place. Osteoporosis can also compromise dental implants or prevent dentures from fitting comfortably.
Osteoporosis further affects your teeth by increasing your risk of gum disease (periodontitis). Gum disease allows harmful bacteria to easily reach and infect your jaw bones, causing further bone loss from infections. When left untreated, gum disease will lead to tooth loss, especially if you have osteoporosis. If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, make sure to contact your dentist right away.
Osteoporosis Medication and Your Teeth
The medications used to treat osteoporosis might also have negative effects on your teeth. For instance, some osteoporosis medications can prevent your jaw from healing properly after a tooth extraction. If you need dental surgery and have osteoporosis, you will need to speak with your doctor about adjusting your medications. It’s also important to let your dentist know which medications you are taking before undergoing any major dental procedures.
What Are the Signs of Osteoporosis?
Signs of osteoporosis include:
- Bones that break easily
- Back pain
- Shortened height
- Stooped posture
- Loose or missing teeth
- Poor-fitting dentures
- Gum disease
Out of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, around 80% are women. Although women have a significantly higher risk of osteoporosis than men, there are plenty of things both men and women can do to prevent osteoporosis.
For instance, adding extra calcium and vitamin D to your diet will help build strong bones. Your body uses calcium to form new bone tissue, and vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium better. Calcium and vitamin D are also essential nutrients for building strong teeth.
Certain lifestyle changes can also help to prevent osteoporosis. For example, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking all reduce bone density. To maintain strong bones, it’s a good idea to reduce caffeine intake, drink in moderation, and quit tobacco use.
Finally, it’s crucial that you get enough exercise to stimulate the cells that rebuild your bones. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are good ways to strengthen your muscles and lower your risk of osteoporosis. People who have osteoporosis will also benefit from regular exercise, because it helps improve coordination and reduces the risk of falls and injuries.
Gum Disease Treatment in Sun Lakes, Arizona
If you have osteoporosis, regular dental care is crucial to prevent gum disease. Drs. Saba and Romanin in Sun Lakes can help you build strong teeth and spot signs of periodontitis with biannual dental cleanings and exams. We have over 30 years of experience helping Arizona residents maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. Call us at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/13/2022). Photo by Abi Howard on Unsplash