Can a Smile Show Signs of Osteoporosis?

A dental x-ray film is isolated on white.As we age, our bodies can start to lose bone due to lifestyle choices, genetics and preexisting conditions. Your teeth are rooted within some of the most important bones used every day — the alveolar bones of your jaw. If there are signs of bone density loss through symptoms such as tooth loss, gum disease, bone loss in the jaw or loose dentures, your dentist may suggest you see your doctor.

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease that reduces bone mass, leading to bone fragility. Periodontitis occurs with destroyed tissue and alveolar bone loss. Studies show a greater propensity to lose alveolar bone in patients with osteoporosis.

Tips to prevent osteoporosis and periodontitis:

• Eat calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese and almonds.
• Add more vitamin D into your diet; incorporate more eggs, salmon and mushrooms.
• Exercise to minimize your risk of heart disease, strengthen muscles and build bones.
• Decrease your caffeine and alcohol intake, as both have been shown to decrease bone density.

See your dentist twice a year. They screen for oral health issues, but may be able to identify signs of osteoporosis, diabetes, anemia, and more. Early intervention
is key to living well and smiling more.

HAWAII DENTAL SERVICE (501(c) 4 nonprofit)
Kahala Howser, Wellness & Events Manager


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