Can Protecting Your Bones Save Your Smile?
People with osteoporosis typically worry about suffering an injury to the spine, hip, or wrist – the bones most often impacted by low bone density. However, studies show that osteoporosis can also negatively affect the jaw bone. Loss of bone tissue in the jaw can contribute to tooth loss, periodontal (gum) disease, and ill-fitting dentures.
In Henderson NV, cosmetic and restorative dentist Dr. Heeyup Ghim helps patients of all ages retain and regain healthy smiles. Protecting bone density as you age can put you on the path to lifelong oral wellness and just may save your treasured smile.
How Osteoporosis Impacts Your Smile
- Healthy jawbone mass is a prerequisite for a strong, healthy smile. Teeth are anchored in the jawbone and rely on this firm foundation to stay in place. When bone density lessens, teeth can become loose and, ultimately, come out. Studies show that women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to suffer tooth loss than women with sufficient bone density.
- Osteoporosis may also increase the risk of developing the most severe form of gum disease, called periodontitis. This condition can result in tooth, gum, and additional bone loss. It’s thought that the jawbone diminishment caused by osteoporosis may leave the bone at risk for damage by gum-disease-causing bacteria.
- As bone mass diminishes, dentures can begin to slip. This slippage can make chewing difficult and speech sound slurred. In addition, loose-fitting dentures can be a major source of embarrassment and discomfort.
Diagnosing Jawbone Loss
Dental x-rays performed at Black Mountain Dental help Dr. Ghim identify changes in jawbone mass. Your Henderson NV dentist will work you and your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment to address bone loss. At your regular checkups – and anytime in between – always let Dr. Ghim know if you’ve experienced any changes in your teeth or gums.
At this point, it’s unknown whether medications to stop or slow bone density loss positively impact oral health. However, taking care of your smile with regular checkups and cleanings at our Henderson NV dentist’s office is a proactive measure to attain good oral and overall health. In addition, you may lessen your risk of osteoporosis by incorporating weight-bearing exercises into your routine, limiting alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, and eating a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium.
Call today to learn more.