Osteoporosis is an age related condition characterized by low bone density and fragile bones. Lack of calcium and vitamin D are the most common triggers of this condition. These are vital elements for healthy teeth as well. Osteoporosis has a direct relationship with oral health and can trigger a number of issues such as loss of teeth and gum and periodontal disease. The effects of osteoporosis on oral health are seen more in women than in men.
This risk increases when talking about menopausal women.
The jawbone is one of the areas which bear the brunt of osteoporosis. The loss of bone density in this area can make teeth loose and cause tooth loss. It can also affect the gum ridges that hold dentures in their place. This can result in ill fitting dentures that need to be frequently changed.
Medication for osteoporosis is also linked to dental health. In rare cases, antiresorptive medicines that are prescribed to strengthen the bones can lead to a condition known as osteonecrosis. This refers to the death of a bone due to poor blood supply. Antiresorptive medication can be administered orally or intravenously with the latter having a higher risk of triggering osteonecrosis. Though it affects the hips and shoulder bones in most cases, it can also affect the jaw bone. It is marked by pain, swelling, infection and exposed bone. Loose teeth, gum infections and numbness or heaviness of the jaw are also symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw bone.
The risk of suffering from osteonecrosis cannot be determined beforehand. Hence it is a good idea to see your dentist before or just after starting antiresorptive treatment for osteoporosis and to schedule regular checkups for the duration of your treatment. Dental problems if any should be treated before starting medication for osteoporosis. Osteonecrosis of the jaw bone is most commonly seen after undergoing a dental procedure that affects the jawbone and associated tissues such as a tooth extraction. Ideally, invasive dental procedures should be avoided if you are taking antiresoptive medicines. However, it can also occur spontaneously.
Biophosphonates are also commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis. This type of medication slows down the breakdown of bone tissue. However, this can lead to the development of new bones. This is not a troublesome issue when it comes to bones like the hip, leg or arm bones but can be very disruptive if it affects the jawbone. This is because the jaw bone is constantly reforming and reshaping itself.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
One of the most common complications of having a tooth taken out is developing a dry socket. A dry socket is when the blood clot that is supposed to be in the extraction site either doesn’t form or is displaced. This exposes the bone in the area causing a severe toothache type pain. Many of my patients have told me that the dry socket pain is worse than the toothache that caused the tooth to need to be extracted! This pain can last anywhere from a week up to 5 weeks. Most dry sockets resolve in the shorter end of that range and will always resolve on their own whether you seek treatment or not. Some types of treatment will actually extend the healing time so keep that in mind.
So how do you know if you have a dry socket? Most dry sockets follow a relatively predictable pattern.
It is important to realize that while a dry socket can be miserably painful, there are no health consequences associated with it. All treatment seeks to manage the symptoms until the area is able to heal on it’s own. Studies have been pretty inconclusive as to what treatment, if any, is best for managing dry sockets. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do at home.