Osteoporosis is a serious disease that reduces the strength and density of your bones. The word is derived from the Greek ostoun, meaning “bone,” and poros, meaning “pore.” Literally, osteoporosis means “porous bone,” and patients afflicted with the disease are at a dramatically increased risk of bone fractures and breaks. With over 200 bones in a healthy adult human body, and just as many reasons to worry when osteoporosis attacks, oral health may be the last thing on one’s mind during such a trying time. Dr. Arun Garg, an experienced dentist in Miami, explains how osteoporosis may be linked to one of the most destructive oral health issues—gum disease.
Bone Loss and Gum Disease
More than 20 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, most of them women, and nearly 2 million fractures a year result from the disease. Over 75% of adults in America have gum disease to some extent, and severe periodontitis (the most severe stage of gum disease) accounts for over 30% of these cases. Bone disease and gum disease are both serious problems by themselves, but research now suggests that the two may be linked, increasing the urgency of awareness and prevention.
Gum disease is a progressive disease, meaning it will only grow worse if allowed to run its course. The danger from prolonged infection reaches beyond inflamed and bleeding gums. The disease spreads down through your gums, destroying the connective tissue that holds your gums to your teeth and continuing to your jawbone, which supports the roots of your teeth.
Establishing a Connection
For decades, researchers from around the globe have been studying the connection between poor oral health and systemic illnesses. The results of their work have proved exciting and have granted us an impressive understanding of how the entire human body is connected. While studying this oral-systemic connection, researchers from the University of Buffalo uncovered an interesting connection between osteoporosis and gum disease; a study that examined 2,599 post-menopausal women determined that women whose bone density was decreased due to bone disease were over 85% more likely to develop gum disease than women with normal bone density. While the study did not specifically reveal that osteoporosis directly causes gum disease, it exemplified the importance of remaining vigilant about your oral health, especially in light of other health problems. To learn more, schedule a consultation with your Miami dentist at the Center for Complete Dentistry by calling 305-935-4991, or visit our website to schedule your appointment online. Located in the 33180 area, we proudly serve patients from Miami, Highland Lakes, North Miami Beach, and the surrounding communities.