Your dentist may be the first health professional to suspect you have osteoporosis. This bone disease can weaken bones by reducing their density and is most common in women over age 50.
Osteoporosis is difficult to detect, and most patients remain undiagnosed until their bone density decreases to the point that a fracture occurs. However, your dentist may notice symptoms of tooth loss or gum disease that indicate the early stages of osteoporosis.
Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis.
Your dentist may detect the first stages of osteoporosis based on a review of your medical history and the results of a clinical and x-ray exam. Your medical record provides information about risk factors such as genetics, calcium deficiency, tobacco use, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol intake and an inactive lifestyle. In addition, several other signs may alert your dentist to the possibility of osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis may be preventable with these lifestyle changes:
If you or your dentist suspect you have osteoporosis, talk to your primary health care practitioner as soon as possible. Early intervention is the key to managing both your oral and overall health.
Last updated July 21, 2021
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.