Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Relationship Between Osteoporosis and Gum Disease

Osteoporosis is a condition most often associated with older women. It is marked by low bone mass, reduced bone mineral density, and higher bone frailty. While it can develop in men, it typically occurs in females who are post-menopausal. This link between estrogen deficiency and osteoporosis has been firmly established, as well as a relationship between osteoporosis and gum (periodontal) disease. Women who suffer from osteoporosis are far more likely to develop gum disease in Lafayette, LA.

How Gum Disease Affects Bone Density

One of the most damaging effects of chronic gum disease is bone loss. The bacterial infection destroys gums, connective tissue, and the bone that supports your teeth. Once a tooth is lost, stimulation of the bone from the tooth root is lost, too. Without that stimulation, the remaining bone breaks down and recedes. It is a process that continues indefinitely. Researchers have found that estrogen deficiency hastens the loss of jaw bone just as the chronic inflammation of periodontal disease encourages the deterioration of bone. This dramatically increases the likelihood of both periodontal disease and osteoporosis for post-menopausal women.

How You Can Protect Your Bone Health

A routine visit to your periodontist can protect your oral health. An exam will help your doctor identify the signs of gum disease in Lafayette, LA, which may include:

  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

X-rays will also reflect any bone loss that has occurred as a result of periodontal infection. Fortunately, your periodontist can treat gum disease, replace missing teeth with dental implants, and restore bone density with grafting procedures, if necessary. Your medical doctor may offer estrogen supplements as well. Resolving estrogen deficiency can prevent bone loss and decrease inflammation, protecting your bone health and your smile.

 

For more information about osteoporosis and gum disease, schedule a consultation with Dr. James M. Finley. He can assess your risk factors for periodontal disease and offer treatments to resolve infection.

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