How Dental Clues Provide Early Signs Of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by too much loss of bone density and quality. It increases your risk of fracture because it weakens your bones. One of the worst things about the condition is that it usually doesn't have any visible symptoms. In many cases, you only get to realize that you have the condition when you experience a fracture. However, your dentist may be able to pick up the first signs of the disease if you maintain regular dental checkups. Here are some of the signs that may tell your dentist that you are losing bone density:

Gum Recession

Your gums may recede if your bones experience mineral loss. This is because your teeth are connected to the jaw bone. Since gum recession is a gradual process, it is not easy to notice. However, one of the early signs of receding gum lines is increased teeth sensitivity. Also, your dentist can catch this gum recession long before it becomes serious enough for you to notice. This is particularly feasible if you have been using the same dentist for a long time.

Loose Teeth and Teeth Loss

Studies have unearthed a link between reduced bone density and both teeth loss and loose teeth. In fact, osteoporosis increases the risk of tooth loss in women threefold. Since our teeth are anchored in your jawbone, it isn't a surprise that they become loose when the bone density reduces. This is because reduced bone density means the bones are porous and weak. The looser your teeth are, the more they are likely to fall out.

Ill-Fitting Dentures

If you are wearing dentures, then another possible sign of osteoporosis is ill-fitting dentures. For one, it's difficult to create functional dentures density because your lower ridges change shape when you lose bone density. Flat or V-shaped ridges are particularly problematic because they don't offer good support for dentures. Also, your dentures can loosen when your bone loss progresses and interferes with their original snug fit.

Revelations in Dental X-rays

Lastly, your dental X-rays may also reveal early signs of bone loss. This is possible because the X-rays reveal the width of your jaw cortex, and your dentist's interpretation of the X-ray pictures may reveal whether you are developing osteoporosis.

It's clear that the importance of regular dental consultations goes beyond dental health. For example, the above signs are all easy to miss if you are skipping your dental checkups. Ask your dentist about your risk of osteoporosis the next time you are getting a routine checkup.

For professional dental care, contact an office such as Hurst Family Dental.