For years, osteoporosis had the misconception of being a disease that only impacted little old ladies. Certainly postmenopausal women are at risk for the disease, however men and women of all ages can fall victim to bone loss and decreased bone density. In America, 40 million people have already been diagnosed with the condition or considered high risk because of their low bone mass.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bone density is lost courtesy of depleting calcium supplies and odds of getting a bone fracture are gained. Although the condition primarily impacts hips, spines and wrists, it can affect any bone in the body including the jawbone. Since that body part is where teeth are supposed to be firmly anchored, the relationship between osteoporosis and dental health is a fragile one.
The Osteoporosis Dental Health Connection
Once upon a time, theories surrounding dental health were vague and individuals thought that tooth decay was caused by something caused a tooth worm. Years of scientific discovery have disproved that myth as well as proving that cause and effect relationship between the mouth and how the body functions in general. Osteoporosis is just one medical condition that can lead to slews of dental problems including tooth loss and gum disease.
The weakened bone structure associated with osteoporosis can cause teeth to separate from the jawbone, leaving little pockets of space behind. Those spaces are notorious for being a perfect hiding spot for excess dental plaque and can eventually lead to a life-threatening infection called a dental abscess. Prior to that happening, the dental plaque (a community of oral bacteria) can eat away at an otherwise healthy mouth and destroy dental pulp and cause tooth erosion. This can lead to dental problems including ill-fitting dentures, tooth loss, advanced periodontal disease and make it difficult for patients to handle some dental surgery procedures.