Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to lose their density and become brittle and susceptible to breakage. It affects your entire skeleton, including your teeth and jawbone. Sometimes referred to as a silent disease, many people have it without even realizing it because the symptoms aren’t always obvious. Osteoporosis can have a major impact on your oral health, and dentists are often the first ones to spot signs of the disease. Here’s why:
Loss of Bone Density in the Jaw
Dental X-rays are often the first thing that alert a dentist to signs of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes major bone loss in the jaw, and X-rays show a clear picture of this. Since people get routine X-rays from their dentist rather than their physician, it’s important to see your dentist regularly as he or she can spot any problems with your bone density that you and your physician might not have been aware of.
Tooth Loss and Gum Disease
The loss of bone density in the jaw inevitably leads to the loosening of teeth. This is because the jaw no longer provides a solid foundation for the teeth to remain in place. Teeth may shift positions in the mouth or fall out altogether. There is also a strong link between periodontal disease and osteoporosis and, although the exact relationship is somewhat unclear, it is believed that the weakening of the teeth makes the gums more susceptible to infection.
Problems with Dentures and Dental Implants
When your bones become brittle and your teeth start loosening and shifting, any dentures or dental implants you have may not fit well in your mouth anymore. This sign of something amiss with your dental restorations is another thing your dentist knows to look out for and can spot early on.
Scheduling regular dental exams helps you stay on top of your oral and overall health and can alert you to early signs of conditions that affect your oral health like osteoporosis. Have more questions or want to plan your next exam and check-up? Contact Las Cruces Dental Solutions today to schedule your next appointment.
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