By the year 2020, it is predicted that more than half of the American population over age 50 will be affected by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that is characterized by weak, fragile and less dense bones. Women and the elderly population are more at risk, as osteoporosis is known to be caused by aging and menopause as well as lack of Vitamin D and calcium.
While osteoporosis is a common condition, there are some very serious risks. Osteoporosis can not only cause you to become “hunched-over” and lose height, but brittle bones can fracture and break very easily. Unfortunately, the consequences don’t stop there. A less obvious setback of osteoporosis sufferers includes problems within your oral health.
Since osteoporosis can affect overall health, quality of life and dental health, it is a disease worth paying attention to. Osteoporosis is not inevitable. In fact, even if you have weak bones in your genetics, there are still things you can do to keep your bones strong as you age, including the following:
- Get adequate Vitamin D.
- Consume extra calcium, especially from foods!
- Exercise regularly, focusing on weight-bearing activities and balance.
- Avoid excessive smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Schedule bone density screenings.
- Report signs of gum detachment, ill-fitting dentures and loose teeth to your dentist.
Why Osteoporosis Affects Your Smile Health
While your teeth are not considered bones, the jaw that supports them is one of the most essential bones in your body. When the jawbone loses density, the teeth no longer get the support they need to stay stable. This can lead to tooth loss or ill-fitting dentures in those that have already lost teeth since osteoporosis changes the bony ridge that holds dentures in place. A loss of jaw bone can also affect the shape of the lower face, as well as cause the gums to recede or detach. The dental health effects of osteoporosis are more likely to affect women than men. If you find yourself needing very frequent denture relines or new dentures, you may be suffering from osteoporosis.
Trust an Expert in Senior Dentistry
Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta is uniquely equipped to provide senior dentistry services, which always includes careful monitoring of symptoms of osteoporosis in the mouth and educating patients on ways to prevent bone loss as they age. Contact our office today to schedule your consult.