Many people think of dental health as a separate topic from overall health. However, your overall health, including the health of your bones, can affect your dental health. Conversely, your oral health can affect your overall health. This is one of many reasons it is important to take good care of your teeth and see your dentist regularly.
Bone Health and Dental Health
Problems with the health of your bones can lead to problems with the health of your teeth. This is particularly true for women, who are at greater risk for osteoporosis, or weakening of the bone tissue. Osteoporosis causes the bones to become thinner and more brittle, increasing the risk of breaks. This systemic problem occurs in approximately half of women over fifty years old, and in about one-quarter of men over fifty years old.
As the bone tissue becomes weaker, the tissue of the jawbone can also deteriorate. The teeth need healthy bone tissue in the jaws to properly anchor the tooth roots. People suffering from osteoporosis are likely to have fewer teeth than those who have healthy bones due to this deterioration of the bone tissue. Osteoporosis can also affect your ability to have dental implants placed. In addition, if you are taking certain medication for osteoporosis, it can greatly increase your chance of an unsuccessful implant procedure.
Keeping Your Teeth and Bones Healthy
If you attend to the health of your bones and teeth throughout your life, you are less likely to have problems related to osteoporosis. This includes eating a healthy diet that includes sufficient calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals and vitamins that support bone health. These vitamins and minerals also help support your dental health. You should also be sure to visit your dentist regularly so that any problems that might be developing can be diagnosed and treated promptly.
If you do discover you are suffering from osteoporosis, be sure to follow treatment guidelines provided by your doctor to keep your bones healthy and strong as long as possible. You should also be sure to let your dentist know you are being treated, in case your treatment could affect your candidacy for dental implants if you happen to lose a tooth.
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