Osteoporosis is a common disease that is characterized by bones that are brittle and have large pores. The increase in porosity makes the bones more likely to break.
Osteoporosis affects many different parts of the body. Here are several ways that osteoporosis can affect the mouth and face:
Osteoporosis Can Make the Face Look Hollow
The fullness of the face is largely dependent on the jawbones. As the bones of the jaw shrink from osteoporosis, the cheeks may become loose and deflated. This can result in a hollowed, aged appearance.
Osteoporosis Can Cause Problems With Dental Implants
Dental implants are installed inside the jawbone. Just as natural teeth fit inside the sockets of the jawbone, dental implants are drilled into the bone at the site of a missing tooth or in another designated location.
In order for an implant to be successfully placed, the bone of the jaw must be thick and healthy enough to support the positioning of the device. When a person has osteoporosis, the jawbone may not be sufficiently dense to allow the successful placement of an implant.
Osteoporosis Can Cause the Teeth to Loosen
As the jawbone shrinks, it may not hold teeth as tightly. As a result, the teeth may become loose as bite pressure is applied. In some cases, teeth may even be lost because of the effects of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis Affects the Fit of Dentures
Traditional dentures for the upper palate are held in place by the suction created as the appliance rests snugly against the ridge of the jawbone and the roof of the mouth. However, as osteoporosis causes structural changes to the jawbone, the fit of the dentures may suffer.
In order for dentures to fit properly, the appliance must match the exact contours of the mouth. Those contours change as bone material is lost from osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Affects the Progression of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, like osteoporosis, can cause bone loss. As a result, people with osteoporosis may have an increased likelihood of developing severe cases of periodontal disease.
In order to lessen the amount of bone loss from osteoporosis, patients can eat a balanced diet, including foods that are high in calcium. In addition, regular weight-bearing exercises can also increase bone strength and density. Still, it is important to have all activities approved by a physician. If you have osteoporosis and would like to learn about available methods of treatment, schedule an appointment with a physician in your local area.
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