Osteoporosis and Gum Disease

Jul 17th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry

Gum Disease and Osteoporosis Just as gum disease has been linked to an increased chance of heart disease, pregnancy and birth complications, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, certain cancers, and respiratory infections, it has also been linked to osteoporosis. Today, San Francisco dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu wants to discuss this connection.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. The condition typically occurs as a result of hormonal changes or a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Being female
  • Being older in age
  • Being petite and/or thin-boned
  • Being Caucasian, Asian, African-American, or Hispanic
  • Having a family history of the condition
  • Having low testosterone or estrogen levels
  • Suffering from anorexia
  • Having low calcium and/or vitamin D intake
  • Using certain medications
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis

Symptoms of osteoporosis include:

  • Back pain
  • Loss of height and/or a stooped posture
  • A curved backbone
  • Fractures from a minor injury (especially of the hip, spine, or wrist, and ankle)

How are Gum Disease and Osteoporosis Connected?

While it has been difficult for researchers to identify a direct correlation between gum disease and osteoporosis , studies show that the effects of each condition often produce the same results.

With gum disease, bacteria sever the connection between the gum tissue and the teeth, eventually eroding the jawbone and destroying the support system for the teeth. With osteoporosis, the jawbone loses tissue until the supporting structure of the teeth is no longer stable.

For more information about gum disease and its connection to other serious health conditions, call Hilltop Family Dental in Richmond, California at (510) 758-7222 to reserve an appointment with Dr. Moiceanu. We serve patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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