What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weakness and severe brittleness of the bones. An affected individual may be at risk of fracture from a minor fall, or even a simple movement such as coughing or bending over. Bone fractures associated with osteoporosis occur most commonly in the spine, wrist, or hip. As a living tissue, bone regularly regenerates, with cells breaking down and new ones being created. When a person has osteoporosis, the breakdown of bone tissue occurs at a faster pace than regeneration does.
- A total of 54 million US adults age 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis.
- Asian and Caucasian females, particularly those who are post-menopausal, have the greatest 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.