What do osteoporosis and gum disease have in common? Bone loss! For anyone with periodontal (gum) disease, osteoporosis, or both… it’s important to know about the correlation between these two conditions.
How Does Periodontal Cause Bone Loss?
Are you surprised to hear that gum disease can contribute to bone loss? The first stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, rarely affects bone structure. But if it progresses to advanced periodontitis, then the infection spreads beneath the teeth to destroy connective gum tissue AND supportive structure in your jaw. Gingivitis is a non-destructive disease process that CAN be reversed if proper oral hygiene is maintained, along with regular dental check-ups.
A recent study showed an alarmingly high correlation between low bone density and periodontal disease risk. Bone density was measured using a FRAX score (fracture risk assessment tool). Even disregarding common risk factors like age, smoking, or diabetes, it was shown that patients with osteoporosis have an 85% greater likelihood of periodontal disease.
More research is needed to find the reason for this correlation. However, one factor is important to note: advanced gum disease (periodontitis) degrades bone mass in the jaw. For those with already-low bone mass, thanks to osteoporosis, the risk is even greater. Gum disease can cause a lot of damage very quickly.
We’re Looking Out For Your Whole-Body Health
So, if you have periodontal disease, along with other possible risk factors for osteoporosis, don’t be surprised if we ask you the last time you had a checkup with your doctor. After looking at a dental x-ray, we may recommend that you have your bone health assessed. One tip to help bone density is to take calcium and vitamin D supplements, and remember, always drink milk!
The relationship between osteoporosis and periodontal disease is just one example of the mouth-body health connection. Dr. Nemeth is dedicated to providing the patient with all the resources they need to keep their mouth and body healthy. The more we learn, the more we see that what happens in your mouth doesn’t just stay in your mouth. Dental health has an effect on your entire body.
Please feel free to give us a call to schedule an appointment to have your mouth evaluated or if you have any questions about your dental health. We can be reached at our office at (248) 357-3100. We are honored to be your partners in oral health care.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.