Osteoporosis is common in the elderly. The consequences: The bones are prone to breakage. And damage in the oral cavity occurs, which promotes jaw bone loss. Find out here that
- Drugs for bone loss can trigger jaw disease.
- Dental implants in osteoporosis take longer to heal.
- Osteoporosis patients are more prone to periodontal disease.
Osteoporosis: what is it?
Osteoporosis is also known colloquially as bone loss. It affects the entire skeleton of the patient.
Normally, bones are subject to constant regeneration and breakdown processes. These are necessary so that the body can adapt to all situations. If the bone building and bone breaking cells get out of balance, osteoporosis develops.
The cells that are responsible for the breakdown of bone usually predominate. Then the bone substance breaks down more than it builds up. The result: the bones lose their density, strength and structure. The bone quality is reduced and the bones become porous. This increases the risk of fractures.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis occurs mainly in women after menopause to. The reason for this is a lack of estrogen. The hormone normally protects the bones from natural breakdown. However, with the onset of menopause, the body’s production of estrogen is reduced. The natural protection of the bones is lost. In addition, the bone system of women is generally finer.
Women are therefore twice as likely to develop osteoporosis as men. However, men of a certain age are also susceptible to this disease. With them, the body then produces the hormone testosterone in reduced quantities. This accelerates bone loss.
Of course, osteoporosis patients cannot influence their age and gender. Other risk factors, however, do:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Consumption of nicotine, alcohol and caffeine
Calcium deficiency often occurs, particularly with insufficient nutrition and underweight. As a result, the bones have a lower density and break more easily. Other triggers of osteoporosis are diabetes and rheumatism.
Osteoporosis develops slowly and often goes unnoticed for a long time. Patients often complain of back pain that the doctor does not recognize as a symptom. In most cases, the diagnosis is only made after a bone fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures often occur on:
- Femur neck bone
- Pelvic bones
- Upper and lower arms
- Mutual influence of osteoporosis and dental health
- Influence of drugs on teeth
Many patients receive bisphosphonates as a medication for osteoporosis. These inhibit bone loss by slowing bone metabolism. As a result, they strengthen the bones in the body and, for example, reduce the risk of femoral neck and vertebral fractures.
The disadvantage: the bisphosphonates weaken the jawbones. The bone tissue in the jaw dies. This can cause osteonecrosis in the jaw (jaw necrosis).
One speaks of necrosis when body cells are damaged so severely that they die. Dead endogenous tissue then remains on the affected area. This means that with jaw necrosis there is massive bone loss in the jaw.
Pine necrosis is when parts of the jaw are exposed for at least 8 weeks and do not heal. This makes chewing, swallowing and speaking difficult. The symptoms of pine necrosis are:
- Swelling or fistula in the mouth
- Little sensitive lower lip
- Strong bad breath
- Teeth loosening
- Severe damage to the jawbones
The loose teeth make it easier for bacteria to penetrate. Together with the bisphosphonates, this increases the necrosis of the jaw. Without treatment, parts of the jawbone will then be lost. Therefore, you should definitely have a dentist treat your jaw necrosis. Mouthwash and antibiotics are usually sufficient. If the necrosis is very pronounced, however, usually only a surgical procedure will help.
Implants and osteoporosis
Dental implants are a replacement for the natural tooth root. They are inserted into the jawbone. There they serve as a support for fastening crowns, bridges or prostheses. In osteoporosis patients, the porous bones prevent the use of these implants: Due to the low density and strength of the bones, they are poorly supported and cannot be loaded. This can lead to implantation loss.
Medicines against osteoporosis also have a negative effect on dental implants: The bisphosphonates reduce blood flow to the bones. This hinders and slows down wound healing after operations or implantations. That means: As an osteoporosis patient you have to take a longer healing time of implants. It can therefore make sense to stop taking the bisphosphonates before an intervention in order to strengthen the jawbones.
Be sure to talk to your doctor and get extensive advice. This will reduce the risk of complications during an implantation.
In general, dental implants are possible with osteoporosis. However, there should be a certain bone quality. Only then can the implants heal completely. As soon as this is done, the implants are fully resilient.
You do not have osteoporosis, but your prosthesis does not fit properly after an operation? Warning, this can be an indication of bone loss Your doctor should therefore check whether your jawbone has changed.
Periodontitis and Osteoporosis
Periodontitis is a permanent inflammation of the periodontium. First the gums become inflamed. Bacteria collect and multiply there. With inadequate oral hygiene and without treatment, this inflammation spreads and affects the jawbone. The jawbone and connective tissue are destroyed. As a result, the teeth have less hold in the dentition and, in the worst case, fall out.
Osteoporosis supports bone loss in periodontal disease. Loose teeth in jaw necrosis cause bacteria to multiply in the mouth and promote:
- Inflammation of the gums
- Gingival pockets
The jaw can then no longer be stressed so heavily. And these oral problems make osteoporotic patients more prone to periodontal disease. This allows jaw shrinkage to progress further. To minimize the risk, seek immediate treatment for inflammation.
3 tips for dental health for osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can have many side effects on your dental health. To avoid this, you should be aware of the disease. Also note the following tips:
Eat a diet rich in calcium. Calcium increases bone density and stability. This improves both general and dental health in osteoporosis. However, a diet that is too calcium-heavy with milk, eggs and meat over-acidifies the body in the long run. Soy products, types of cabbage or mineral water containing calcium are better. Make sure you eat a balanced diet.
Get enough exercise. This animates your cells to optimally store the calcium they have absorbed. With vitamin D, which your body gets from the sun. You can also strengthen your body and bones with the help of osteoporosis gymnastics. This also prevents the receding of the jawbone and tooth loss.
Take oral hygiene seriously. Clean your teeth thoroughly and make an appointment with your dentist. Also, have tartar removed regularly. This prevents bacteria from building up and causing inflammation. If you already wear a prosthesis, clean it carefully. This is how you keep harmful germs away.
The declining stability of the bones in osteoporosis affects not only the vertebrae, arms and ribs, but also the jaw. In addition, the bisphosphonates used as a drug against osteoporosis have a strong effect on the jawbone.
The porous bones also make it difficult to use implants. So, consume plenty of calcium to strengthen your bones. This can alleviate the disease and protect your teeth and jaw.