May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month, also referred to as National Osteoporosis Month where we celebrate bone health and call to attention the effects of osteoporosis disease.
Our oral health can tell more about our overall health than we think. It’s an insider of what can be going on with our health than what we believe particularly with our bone health. Why is it important to know what osteoporosis is? Because it affects our bone structure.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease when the honeycomb structure begins to lose density creating holes and spaces in the structure. When the honeycomb structure starts to get larger, the structure becomes weak and fragile which is more likely to break in a fall.
Breaking your bones is a severe complication the older we are. It can cause permanent pain and affects our height, posture, and other bones. When our bones become affected, there is some limitation to our mobility that keeps us isolated or in care.
Since it is a disease which affects our bones’ structure, we go unaware of the abnormality in our tissue structure until we break a bone or we see a shift in our height or spinal cord. If you see a change in your height or spinal cord, consult with your primary doctor.
Like with most medical conditions, there are risk factors which increases our chances of developing osteoporosis. If you have any of the following conditions, consult with your primary doctor about keeping your bone health. Below are just some of the conditions which puts us at risk.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Spinal cord injuries
- Irregular periods
- Poor diet
Again, these are just a few of the conditions which can increase the weakening structure of our bones. We want to ensure we are doing what we can to maintain our bones healthy.
Aside from medical conditions affecting our bones, there are medications which can affect our bones. You always want to talk with your doctor about the risks of taking medication as well as the benefits. Always consult with your doctor so that your healthcare provider can make the proper and necessary adjustments or treatment plans.
Osteoporosis and Dental Health
Even though osteoporosis affects the bones in the hips and spine, there have been links to bone loss in the jaw. Our jaw is a significant functioning part of our oral health. It’s what helps us speak and chew our food. The bone loss to the jaw increases the chances of having loose teeth leading to tooth loss. With osteoporosis, there is a loss in mass and density that can lead to other dental problems such as dentures not fitting correctly.
Your dentist might be able to identify if you have osteoporosis through dental x-rays. Since you are more likely to visit your dentist more than your doctor, they can determine if there is a shift in the density in your jaw bone and your oral health.
Maintaining Healthy Bones
Part of having and maintaining healthy bones is living a healthy lifestyle. There are many ways in which we can keep our bones healthy as we age. Here are some of the ways
- Eating a balanced diet (eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D).
- Regular exercise (a physical activity that promotes good bone health – walking, dancing, jogging).
Osteoporosis is a severe bone disease that can affect both women and men. It is a silent condition affecting our bone structure which can have serious complications if we break our fragile bones. We want to encourage you to incorporate activities that can promote your bone health but to also have conversations with your primary doctor about medications and your bone health. We are about living the best life, and to live it we need to take care of ourselves.
If you’ve noticed your teeth have been loose or your gums are receding, don’t hesitate to contact us today for an appointment. Call our dental office today at 801-747-8000 to book an appointment today.
For more information on National Osteoporosis Month, you can find more information by going to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Osteoporosis and Causes – National Osteoporosis Foundation
Oral Health and Bone Disease – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disea