Osteoporosis is a bone condition characterized by decreased bone mass and the deterioration of bone tissue, and is typically the result of the normal aging process. As teeth are held in the jaw by the face bone, osteoporosis may also lead to tooth loss. Because of this, the teeth and gums can often serve as an early warning system for this condition.
Although osteoporosis typically is most apparent in the bones of the hip, spine and wrist, it can affect other parts of the body, including the jaw.
Oral indicators of osteoporosis may include:
- Loose teeth
- Gums that are detached from the teeth
- Severe gum disease
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Difficulty eating or speaking
Maintain Bone Density To Preserve Oral Health
Adopting habits that build and maintain strong bones early in life can go a long way toward maintaining bone density in all parts of your body. Here are a few things you can do to optimize your bone density and preserve your oral health:
- Eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke, and drink alcohol in moderation.
- Engage in regular physical activity or exercise, including weight-bearing activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, and weight training.
- Visit your dentist regularly (every six months) for cleaning and a checkup.
- Report any problems with loose teeth, detached or receding gums and loose or ill-fitting dentures to your dentist.