Routine dentist visits are integral to good oral health, but they also may be your first line of diagnosis and prevention for diseases that affect other areas of your body. That’s because the mouth is the gateway to the body, and various diseases have signs or symptoms that are noticeable to your dentist. Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) is one of those diseases.
In many cases, osteoporosis goes undetected until a bone is fractured. However, Dr. Leonard may be able to alert you to the possibility of osteoporosis before this happens. There are a number of signs below1 that dentists look for, especially in women over the age of 50, that may prompt your dentist to refer you to a physician:
It is important that you share your complete medical history with your dentist, as it may be used in conjunction with physical signs/symptoms or clinical x-rays to help diagnose a disease such as osteoporosis.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, make sure to tell Dr. Leonard which medications you take. Medications used to strengthen bones have been associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). ONJ may occur at any time, but dental procedures that involve the bone do increase your risk (although it the risk remains low).
If possible, schedule an appointment before you begin taking your medication so any dental problems can be diagnosed and treated. After you begin medication, continue your dentist visits routinely, to maintain a healthy mouth and minimize risk of periodontal disease.
Schedule your visit with Dr. Leonard by calling our office at 952-443-3368.
1Delta Dental of California. A woman’s mouth can say a lot about osteoporosis. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/osteoporosis2.html
2Mouth Healthy. Osteoporosis and Oral Health. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/osteoporosis-and-oral-health