When you consider bone loss, you may think of osteoporosis or joint conditions. However, you can also experience bone loss that affects your smile. The same genetics, medications or health conditions that cause bone deterioration in your spine or joints can also trigger bone loss in your jawbone. Since your jawbone is a vital support structure for keeping your teeth securely in place, it must be monitored closely.
Osteonecrosis is the destruction of bone tissue. It can occur around the teeth and throughout your jawbone. Biting and chewing can become uncomfortable and difficult with this condition. If left untreated, jawbone loss can result in tooth loss or other dental complications.
Age and disease are common culprits to bone loss, but your medication may also be the reason for your low bone density. Always inform your dentist of the medications you are taking or any newly diagnosed medical conditions, as these can make a significant impact on your oral health. Bone loss can also be caused by advanced gum disease. A diligent oral hygiene routine and professional dental cleanings is your best weapon against fighting the harmful bacteria that causes gum disease.
If you are at risk for bone loss, either due to age, genetics or medications, don’t wait for symptoms of soreness or tooth mobility to appear before you seek help. Make sure you stay on top of your scheduled X-rays. They provide an excellent way to screen for osteonecrosis of the jaw and monitor the progression of bone loss around your teeth. Your dentist may suggest a panoramic x-ray more frequently than the average 3-5 years. Just as you would stake steps to protect your bone health in your joints, be sure to work with your dentist on safeguarding jawbone health for the sake of your future smile.