Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis
Fountain Valley, CA
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an oral health issue that affects more than just the health of your gums. It can also affect the health of your teeth and their supporting structures. It begins as a result of a bacterial infection. Bacteria irritate your gum tissue, leading to inflammation. Eventually, swollen gums lead to the formation of periodontal pockets, which provide hiding places for bacteria. Inside the pockets, bacteria continue to attack your gums while also attacking your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. If you have osteoporosis, your jawbone is already compromised. At Bijan Family Dental Practice, we can help to provide treatment for periodontal disease, protecting your oral health and the health of your jawbone.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the health and strength of your bones. It translates to porous bone. When you have osteoporosis, your bones become weak and fragile as a result of a decrease in bone mineral density. It is a common issue in postmenopausal women, but you can also be at risk if you are a smoker or you have a poor diet. There are no outward indicators of osteoporosis, but you may experience pain in your bones. When you have osteoporosis, you are at increased risk for bone fractures, even from slight injuries that never would have harmed you before. Osteoporosis can also affect the stability of your teeth, especially if you have periodontal disease.
Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis
There are a couple of factors that have linked periodontal disease and osteoporosis together. These factors include
|Low estrogen, or estrogen deficiency. A deficiency in estrogen often accompanies menopause. This deficiency can also speed up the loss of bone mass in your jaw. A lack of estrogen can also increase the rate of attachment loss, or the destruction of the tissues that help to hold your teeth securely in place.
|Low mineral bone density. Low mineral bone density is one of the many causes of osteoporosis. If you have periodontal disease, the inflammation that this condition causes can cause your weakened bone to break down faster. For this reason, gum disease can progress much quicker for those who have osteoporosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Both periodontal disease and osteoporosis are easier to treat the earlier they are diagnosed. We can work with your doctor to help ensure that both conditions are effectively controlled. Common methods for diagnosing and treating both periodontal disease and osteoporosis include
|Routine dental X-rays. These X-rays show us what is happening below the gum line. We can see bone loss in your jaws and diagnose periodontal disease. Once diagnosed, we can then provide you with the most effective treatment.
|Assessing your risk factors. We and your regular doctor can monitor you more closely when you have certain factors that can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease and osteoporosis. This includes assessing your family history, medical history, X-rays, and modifiable factors such as smoking.
|Estrogen supplements. Estrogen supplements are often recommended for postmenopausal women to help with estrogen deficiency. You may also be recommended exercise, dietary changes, and increasing your intake of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.
With proper oral care and proper medical care, you can help to maintain the health of your mouth and the health of your bones. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Bijan Family Dental Practice at (714) 421-4494 today.