Can Osteoporosis Affect Your Smile?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes the body to lose too much bone and/or make too little bone. You probably know this condition by its association with aging adults, as it dramatically increases the risk of fracture and falls. But did you know that osteoporosis impacts more than just hips and wrists? It can also affect your dental health.

While your teeth are not actually considered bones, they are anchored into a very important bone in your body: the jawbone. In fact, your jawbone is what encases the roots of your teeth and allows you to chew your food.  If the jawbone loses density, it can no longer hold your teeth in a stable position. You may suffer from loose teeth and impaired eating function as a result. In addition, bone loss in the jaw can threaten the appearance and form of your lower face. Patients may suffer from “premature facial aging,” which refers to a hallowed or sunken cheek, chin and jawline.

If you think osteoporosis is only a concern of the elderly, think again. Bone loss related to osteoporosis can begin as early as your mid-thirties. You may be experiencing a loss of bone density in your jaw far before you see outward signs. To avoid osteoporosis, watch your intake of Calcium and Vitamin D starting now. You can also be sure to include weight-bearing exercises on a daily basis.

A primary warning for osteoporosis is that it can be significantly be hastened within your jaw if you lose a tooth. Without the proper stimulation of a tooth root to help it retain its form, the jaw bone loses density and shape. If you have osteoporosis, the loss can be even more rapid. Osteoporosis can also be worse if you have gum disease. As this is a serious oral infection that can result in the destruction of tissues and bone that support the teeth if it is left unchecked.

If you’ve already lost a tooth and suffered from jawbone deterioration, there’s still hope. Bone grafting is a straightforward procedure that can rebuild your jaw structure. In order to prevent future bone loss after missing teeth, it is important that you also choose dental implants so that the underlying bone can be stimulated in a healthy, natural way.

Have more questions about osteoporosis and your smile? Let us know! At Park South Dentistry, we care about your smile, and we understand how certain overall health conditions and diseases can impact your smile.

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