Osteoporosis is a disease that negatively impacts your bones. It changes your bones by making them brittle and weak. Which makes your bones more susceptible to breaks or fractures. Even something as small as a cough can damage your bones if you suffer from this diagnosis.
So how does osteoporosis affect your teeth? In all reality, your teeth won't be affected by osteoporosis as a direct symptom. However, some of the direct symptoms can cause issues with your teeth. To get the most out of your teeth’s shelf life with osteoporosis, you will need to maintain healthy daily dental care.
Let’s take a dive into how osteoporosis can affect your dental hygiene.
Aren’t Teeth Considered Bones?
Teeth look a lot like bones, so it makes sense to associate them with your skeletal system.This is a common misconception because they both contain calcium. In actuality, teeth are made up of four different types of tissue.
Osteoporosis interferes with the body's ability to make new tissue for the porous material inside of bone. Since your teeth aren’t technically bones, you don’t have to worry about them being affected directly through this disease.
In the innermost part of a tooth you will find the pulp cavity. This contains the nerves and blood vessels that help keep your teeth alive.
Surrounding your pulp cavity is the dentin. Dentin will provide your teeth with its main structure. If you have experienced sensitivity with hot and cold food or beverages, this typically means your dentin is exposed in some way through your enamel.
Enabling your teeth to be anchored together is the cementum. Cementum is the thin layer of hard tissue that covers the roots of your teeth. Cementum is harder than bone, but less soft than the dentin.
Encasing your teeth is your enamel. Enamel has one purpose, to protect your teeth from daily activities like eating. Enamel is not a living tissue, so once it’s damaged you can’t regenerate it naturally.
Does Osteoporosis Affect My Teeth?
Yes, in a sense.
There was a study done in 2009 by Professor Hugh Devlin at the University of Manchester. It linked people with tooth loss and a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Mostly, they saw that women who are post menopausal and diagnosed with osteoporosis are more likely to have lost an average of 3.3 more teeth than women who don’t suffer from a bone density issue.
Investigative scientists have not come to the exact conclusion on how osteoporosis is linked to tooth loss, but they do know that it occurs.
This can likely be attributed to the fact that osteoporosis can affect your jaw bone density. When your jaw suffers from loss of density your teeth can become loose. If you don't seek treatment then this can cause tooth loss and gum disease.
Even though your teeth aren’t considered bones, they can be affected by osteoporosis because of your jaw bone potentially becoming porous from this disease. If your jaw bone can no longer create a healthy environment for your teeth to thrive in, they will eventually need help from you and your dentist to keep them there.
You can help your teeth by eating whole, healthy foods and getting the proper nutrition your body needs. Keeping up with regular dental appointments and appropriate daily dental care can also go a long way to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
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