December 02, 2013

Oral Health--Osteoporosis Connection

What is Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by reduced density of bones, and subsequent tendency to fracture, caused by aging, menopause, and lack of vitamin D and calcium.  More women than men are affected by the condition.

Osteoporosis Affects Teeth

For those people with teeth, studies have shown that osteoporosis affects the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth, resulting in loss of bone height or causing tooth mobility.  Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gum tissues.  When that inflammation spreads deeper, below the gumline, to the tissues that attach to the root or are close to the bone around the roots, then the condition has become periodontitis.  Therefore, for the patient with osteoporosis, who also has gum inflammation, there is a greater risk for that inflammation to progress to periodontitis and cause tooth loss.

For the patient who has no teeth and wears complete dentures, osteoporosis causes more rapid loss of the bone that forms the ridges upon which the dentures rest.  Less bone means a denture with less retention and stability, with concomitant discomfort and lack of function.  This bone loss also requires the dentures to be relined or replaced more frequently.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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