As we get older, our bodies go through a lot of changes. Some of them don’t directly affect our health, but one in particular may. We’re talking about osteoporosis. At our dental office in Memphis, many of our patients are over the age of 50 and, therefore, at increased risk for osteoporosis. Believe it or not, seeing us regularly is a great way to first spot signs of osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disorder that affects and weakens the bones, making them more likely to break. With an estimated 10 million Americans already suffering with the disease, an additional 34 million are at risk. This bone disorder doesn’t plague all genders and ages equally. Although it can happen at any age or gender, typically, women over 50 are at the greatest risk.
How Dental Care Can Help
Many times osteoporosis isn’t diagnosed until the bone density is already diminished considerably. Usually, an injury that results in a broken bone is what leads to a proper osteoporosis diagnosis. However, there are a few ways to catch osteoporosis before this happens. And it all starts with your dentist.
Individuals with low bone density may have a higher incidence of oral health problems, and many times, these issues allow your dentist to catch osteoporosis early. Following an in-depth exam and set of x-rays, we may be able to link what we’re seeing in your mouth and on your x-rays to osteoporosis. Some of the things we’re looking for include:
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Tooth loss
- Gum disease
- Poor fitting dentures that weren’t always so uncomfortable
If we find any symptoms of osteoporosis, we’ll discuss your options with you and work on getting your mouth, and your body, strong and healthy.
Besides keeping up with recommended dental appointments, there are several other ways you can prevent osteoporosis.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D
- Stop smoking
- Limit caffeine intake
- Minimize alcohol consumption
If you’re concerned about osteoporosis, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen the dentist, give our Memphis dental office a call. We’ll be sure to screen you for any potential problems and are happy to work with you to treat anything we happen to find.
Welcoming patients from Memphis, Germantown, and Cordova.