Osteoporosis and Dental Health
Women - most notably Sally Field and Blythe Danner - have long been the face of osteoporosis treatments. And for good reason too. Women are at an especially high risk of developing this bone-breaking disease.
Like its name implies, osteoporosis is a condition in which certain bones develop pores. The reduction in density can cause bones to become thin and brittle, making them more susceptible to breaking.
Often referred to as a “silent disease,” women may not be aware that they have osteoporosis until an incident, like a broken bone occurs. A woman’s risk for this disease increases with age.
Osteoporosis is more common than you think. Nearly 52 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone density, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Bone disease can happen to both men and women and crosses all ethnicities, but women are at a higher risk than men. In fact, one in every two women and one in every four men over 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
If you have bone loss or osteoporosis, you should pay special attention to your dental health. The National Institutes of Health reports that bone loss in the jaw has been linked to osteoporosis, and women who have osteoporosis are three times more likely to lose teeth than those who don’t have the disease.
Although periodontal or gum disease can result in tooth loss, researchers are still studying the relationship between low bone density and gum disease. Further research also needs to be done to identify if osteoporosis treatment can also contribute to jaw bone health.
Here are 4 tips to keep your bones strong and healthy:
- Exercise regularly. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging or weight training are good for keeping your bones healthy.
- Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D, like yogurt, cheese and milk.
- Don’t smoke.
- Practice good oral health habits and see your dentist regularly.