Osteoporosis and You

Please read it carefully:
Patients Taking Bisphosphonates:

Implications for Periodontal Therapy

Recently, there has been information in the news about patients taking bisphosphonates and the implications on a patient’s periodontal health. Below are some questions and answers about patients taking bisphosphonates, osteoporosis and osteonecrosis of the jaw.

What is Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)?

This condition has been observed in cancer patients who undergo invasive dental procedures such as dental implants or tooth extractions while receiving treatment with intravenous bisphosphonates. ONJ can cause severe, irreversible and often debilitating damage to the jaw.

What are Bisphosphonates?

Bisphosphonates, also known as bone-sparing drugs, are commonly used in the treatment of osteoporosis and cancer that has spread to the bone. Doctors prescribe intravenous bisphosphonate therapy, which was the subject of precautions set out by the FDA for patients

with cancer that has spread to the bone to help decrease associated pain and fractures. In addition, emerging research is exploring the ability of intravenous bisphosphonate therapy to inhibit the spread of some cancers to the bone.

What is Osteoporosis?

Patients diagnosed with osteoporosis have low or decreasing bone mass and must take extra care in performing day-to-day activities because they are at increased risk for bone fractures.

Periodontal diseases can lead to loss of bone that supports the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss. Because bone loss is associated with both periodontal disease and osteoporosis, it is questioned whether the two are related. The association has been difficult to prove because of the many similar risk factors for these two diseases, including smoking, age, medications, and systemic diseases. (taken from AAP)

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