Osteoporosis is often described as a “silent” disease in the sense that it is rarely accompanied by clinical manifestations in its early stages.
Did you know, however, that the oral cavity can provide clues to such a fostering condition?
If your dentist notices bone loss in your jaw, it may be a warning of bone loss in other parts of the body.
Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects millions of people with a higher incidence of women over the age of 50. It is characterized by weak bones, prone to fractures and reduced bone density.
Although the first signs of the disease may go unnoticed, your dentist may be able to recognize the first signs during your regular dental examination.
Some indications may be:
- Teeth with increasing mobility
- Detached gums
- Loose dentures
- Difficulty chewing and speaking
The above in combination with data from your medical history, such as:
- Hormonal disorders
- Bad eating habits
- Lack of exercise
- Calcium deficiency
Increased consumption of coffee and alcohol
Some medications such as steroids may make your dentist suspect that you may have osteoporosis.
Conversely, patients with osteoporosis who are aware of it should make regular visits to their dentist as the likelihood of developing periodontitis is greatly increased.
Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums that also affects the bone, resulting in gradual mobility and loss of teeth due to reduced bone support. Research has shown that when the jaw bones have lost their original density and structure, they are more prone to the bacteria that cause periodontitis.
The ways to treat and prevent osteoporosis of the jaw are similar to those of the general disease and in addition to regular check-ups include:
- adequate calcium intake
- a balanced diet, rich in vitamin D.
- daily exercise
- abstinence from smoking and
- reducing alcohol intake.
Osteoporosis is a condition that can be largely prevented and its symptoms reduced, offering you a better quality of life at an older age.
Advises Ms. Georgia Metaxa, Dentist