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How Osteoporosis Can Affect the Jaw

Posted on 7/23/2020 by OM
How Osteoporosis Can Affect the JawOsteoporosis causes weakening in the bones, and increases the risk of fracturing bones, especially among the elderly. The disease often results from low bone mass or a disproportionate loss of bone. It typically presents no symptoms until a fracture occurs. It's usually the reason elderly tend to suffer hip fractures, and fractures of wrists, spines, knees, and ankles. Your jaw, too, is a bone, and like any other bone, can be affected by osteoporosis.

Bone Loss in the Jaw

While we may associate osteoporosis more commonly with hip, wrist and spine fractures, the disease can lead to serious issues in the jaw, as well. Osteoporosis can lead to bone loss in your jawbone, which can then loosen teeth, causing tooth loss and gum disease. Untreated, further tooth loss may occur, and the risk of infections and abscesses increases. Worse, if you already suffer from TMJ disorder, osteoporosis can lead to more intense symptoms, such as increased ear and jaw pain, headaches, and neck pain.

What to Do

Women, especially post-menopausal women, are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, and while all ethnicities are at some risk, white and Asian populations have the highest frequency of the disease. Chronic heavy drinking, vitamin D deficiency, and tobacco smoking are among the factors that tend to increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. So, naturally, to lessen your risk, drink less (but don't feel too guilty about the occasional drink – moderate alcohol consumption has been found to increase bone density), be sure to get sufficient vitamin D, and don't smoke tobacco is a good place to start.

Keeping your bones as healthy as possible is the best way to prevent developing osteoporosis. A healthy diet, sufficient amounts of the right vitamins, including D, C, and K, and minerals, including magnesium and calcium, weight-bearing exercises, and avoiding smoking and too much alcohol will go a long way to keeping your bones – and your jaw – strong and healthy. Of course, if you have any concerns, give us a call, so we can put your mind at ease.
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Smile More Spokane Family Dentistry maintains a dental blog to help educate and inform our patients about topics that affect their oral health.
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