Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle -- so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn't keep up with the removal of old bone.

  • A total of 54 million US adults age 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis.
  • White and Asian women - especially older women who are past menopause - are at highest risk.
  • After age 50, 1 in 2 women will have a future fracture related to osteoporosis.
  • Once you have a fracture, your chance of another is much higher.

How is osteoporosis related to your mouth?

Many of the studies conducted to date suggest there is a relationship between skeletal osteoporosis and bone loss, to the extent that postmenopausal osteoporosis may result in dental osteopenia, or loss of bone density, involving the jaws, and particularly the mandible. Osteoporosis was significantly associated with severe alveolar crestal bone loss and the prevalence of periodontitis cases in postmenopausal women.

How can you minimize your risk of osteoporosis?

  • Hormones, such as estrogen, and some hormone-like medications approved for preventing and treating osteoporosis, also play a role in osteoporosis treatment.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well balanced diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Resources

http://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/osteoporosis.htm

http://www.aaos.org/aboutlpaperslposition/1113.asp

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