Osteonecrosis is the destruction of bone tissue. It can occur around the teeth, throughout the jawbone, and into the joints of the jaw. Unfortunately, it can make normal daily functions like biting and chewing more difficult, and even contribute to tooth loss or other dental complications.
Although age and disease can cause bone loss, some forms of medication are also linked to the condition. Always let your dentist know what medications that you’re on and medical issues you are experiencing so that complications can be avoided. Treatments such as teeth extractions may need to be coordinated with your physician before being completed. Complications could involve damage to the jawbone due to weak bone tissue, so always keep your dentist updated on your medical treatment.
X-rays are a great way to screen for osteonecrosis of the jaw. Your dentist may recommend taking a panoramic x-ray more frequently than the average 3-5 years to assess your bone quantity and levels. If bone loss is accelerating around the teeth, losing them to periodontal disease or generalized bone loss is a concern. Coming in for cleanings as frequent as every 3 to 4 months can help create a healthy environment around your teeth that eliminates bacterial growth. This prevents accelerated bone loss caused by gum disease, keeping teeth tighter in place where they ought to be.
If you’re taking medications linked with osteonecrosis, or simply battle bone loss due to age or other health conditions, then routine dental care is a must! Waiting until symptoms of tooth mobility or soreness is too late. Start seeing your dentist now, to protect the future of your smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mark Rowe, Rowe Family Dental Care
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