In the United States today, there are approximately 10 million people living with osteoporosis, a medical condition in which bones become fragile and brittle. An additional 34 million Americans have low bone density, increasing their risk for osteoporosis and broken bones. Studies have suggested that osteoporosis could be linked with oral health. Today, our dentists from Riverside Dental Group explain the connection between gum disease and osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis primarily affects women. Eighty percent of people suffering from the disease are female. Osteoporosis causes the bones to weaken. Unfortunately, people can’t feel their bones weakening. They might have osteoporosis and never know it until they break a bone. The disease can lead to broken bones from minor falls, or something as simple as a sneeze, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Some people are more at risk for developing osteoporosis. Smoking, excessive alcohol use, low sex hormones, inactivity, and being naturally thin are all risk factors for the disease.
Low Bone Density and Gum Disease
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology followed 1,256 postmenopausal women, looking for a connection between gum disease, also called periodontal disease, and bone loss in the oral cavity. The results showed that women with periodontal bacteria were more prone to bone loss in the mouth. Another study in the Journal of Periodontology suggested that women who supplement with estrogen, the female sex hormone, within the first five years after menopause can slow progression of periodontal disease. The study indicated that estrogen supplementation by women with signs of osteoporosis seemed to inhibit inflammation of gum tissue and decrease destruction of the fibers and bone that support teeth.
The following steps can help prevent bone loss and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis:
- Drink milk or orange juice enhanced with calcium. Do what you have to consume your recommended daily intake of both calcium and vitamin D.
- Perform resistance-training exercises, including weight-bearing or weight-lifting movements.
- Avoid smoking and don’t drink alcohol to excess.
Schedule a Consultation
Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing can help reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease, but you should also schedule regular cleanings and checkups with Riverside Dental Group. Contact us by calling our dentist office at (951) 369-1001 or visit us online at riversidedentalgroup.com.