Osteoporosis and Oral Health

Osteoporosis and Oral Health

Osteoporosis refers to a disease characterized by extremely fragile and less dense bones. Both osteopenia and osteoporosis are grave public health concerns and are widely prevalent, particularly among postmenopausal women.

World Health Organization considers osteoporosis to be second only to cardiovascular disease as a public health concern. Low bone mass in the skeleton, which increases the risk of osteoporotic fracture, also may be associated with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.

Since both osteoporosis and periodontal diseases are bone resorptive diseases, it has been hypothesized that osteoporosis could be a risk factor for the progression of periodontal disease.

Points to consider :

  • Osteoporosis and periodontal disease share several common risk factors, including older age, smoking and also insufficient dietary intakes of calcium and vitamin D.
  • As a healthcare provider, the dentist could serve a pivotal role in pre screening of patients with the potential for osteopenia or osteoporosis and thus early detection.
  • Strategies for reducing osteoporosis risk also may help retard alveolar bone loss. Meeting dietary intake recommendations for calcium and vitamin D could prove beneficial for a broad segment of population at risk for these diseases.
  • Once the patient has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is important to continue regular dental care. Also, it is important to disclose all the medication patient is taking, as these drugs may interfere with dental treatment.

Line of Management

  • Regular dental visits are required to correct the problems in oral and dental health care caused by weakened bones. Healthy lifestyle maintenance is essential in achieving good bone health. For optimizing bone health, one should opt for well balanced diet, containing high amounts of Vitamin D and calcium and do regular physical activity.
  • Patients should have a dental examination done before beginning therapy with antiresorptive agents (bisphosphonates) given for osteoporosis, so that any oral disease can be treated at earliest.

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