Jawbone Density Changes As We Age

Old Bedord MA

Many of us will develop osteoporosis as we age, especially for women. A disease of the skeletal system that leads to weaker bones, it can also have a damaging impact on your oral health, as well.

Today, your Bedford, MA dentist speaks on the dangers of osteoporosis on your mouth, and how to prepare with age for lowered bone density.

Harm Without Knowledge

Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease, as it tends not to exhibit outward symptoms. Until there is a break, people are rarely aware of the density of their bones. It’s just not something that often shows itself.

But approximately 50% of women over age 50 in the United States will break a bone sometime due to osteoporosis. And the numbers aren’t much better for men, either, with around a quarter experiencing the same situation.

Because of this, osteoporosis tends to become deeply developed by the time the patient is fully aware. This leads us to the unfortunate situation of trying to play catch-up.

Prevention is always advisable. So if you are over age 50, and especially if you are an older woman, it is best to operate as if your bones have become significantly more brittle. The health habits are positive anyway!

But What About My Teeth?

Due to the lowering of bone mass in osteoporosis, the mouth is significantly affected. Our teeth are held firmly into place using our jawbone. When bone mass shrinks or recedes, this allows the tooth to become loose, and often falls out. 

Even if the tooth remains in place, the pocket left due to the reduction can gather bacteria. This spot can be difficult to clean. It may be in an area that is hard to see or access. Or you might become worried about losing the tooth by touching it too much.

But leaving the tooth alone will only exacerbate the situation, and if you are that worried about your tooth, it is best to see a dentist about the best way to save it. Also, patients may break their jaw due to the low density. Even small breaks along the jaw can loosen teeth, or lead to areas prone to decay.

Take Care With Knowledge

Knowing this, it is important to treat yourself properly, as it can make all the difference as we age. The first thing to remember is to maintain a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables. The more diversity in your produce, the better for your oral health, usually. We depend on many different vitamins and nutrients in order to keep our mouths safe.

With this, we also want to make sure that we consume at least 1000 mg of calcium daily. If your diet cannot support this, you may need a supplement. But ideally, it would come from a food source. Also, 600 IU of Vitamin D is necessary to maintain strong skeletal matter. This can also come from a supplement.

And like with any other patient, brush your teeth fully twice every day, as well as flossing regularly and using an oral rinse. Routinely visit your dentist for cleanings and examinations, and stick to their schedule! It’s worth it to have a consistently clean smile.

About Dr. Kennedy:

Robert M. Kennedy, DDS, and the caring, compassionate staff at Kennedy Family & Cosmetic Dentistry have served the Bedford, Ma area and surrounding communities since 1992. To learn more about the services we offer to protect, restore, and improve your family’s smiles, contact us today by calling (781) 275-0200, or by visiting our Bedford, MA dental office as soon as possible.