Periodontitis Osteoporosis Osteopenia . Did you know that your dentist could be a 'first line of defense' identifying bone loss? It is true. When I was researching causes of bone loss, I was more than a little surprised to find studies linking gum disease
(peridontites) with bone loss.
No one ever mentioned such a connection to me....no one, not even my dentist. But the research has been published in scientific journals. There is a clear connection between the condition of your gums and that of your bones. Regular brushing of your gums and teeth can safeguard you from a hip fracture and the small spinal fractures that lead to dowagers hump.
In 2010 Researchers at the Hospitales Universitarios Virgen del Rocío in Seville, Spain found such a connection. These researchers decided to do a systematic review of clinical trials assessing the relationship between Periodontitis Osteoporosis Osteopenia
An electronic search was done using:
1.Internet search engines,
2.MEDLINE (from 1966 to December 2009) and
3.Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials Register.
A total of 145 studies dealing with the osteoporosis-periodontitis
relationship were identified. Of these, 35 studies were considered
suitable for the study.
The researchers found that X-ray studies were more useful that clinican observation for finding evidence of bone loss. In the study they found that maxillary and/or mandible radiological findings had a positive correlation in the majority of the cases (18 positive vs. three negative). At the same time they found that clinical
periodontal examination were inconclusive (six positive vs. five negative). So it was clear that X-ray examination was more effective for finding evidence of Osteoporosis/Osteopenia.
Further Medline Plus makes claims about prevention: "Good oral hygiene is the best means of prevention. This includes thorough tooth brushing and flossing, and regular professional dental cleaning. The prevention and treatment of gingivitis reduces the risk of development of periodontitis."
The majority of the studies suggested a relationship between osteoporosis and periodontitis. Further well-controlled studies are needed to better elucidate the inter-relationship between systemic and oral bone loss and to clarify whether dentists
could usefully give an early warning for osteoporosis risk.
Periodontitis and osteoporosis: A systematic review (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/45535507_Periodontitis_and_osteoporosis_A_systematic_review [accessed Mar 28, 2016].
The research is clear. If you want to avoid bone loss, you need to
prevent Periodontitis. And according to Medline Plus "Good oral
hygiene, including thorough brushing and flossing, and regular
professional dental cleaning for the prevention and
treatment of gingivitis reduces the risk of development of periodontitis.".
Also, the Online Journal of Peridontology offers the study by Dr. Jean Wactawsik-Wende from the the University at Buffalo, New York (USA). To read the abstract of this study just click on: Periodontitis Osteoporosis Osteopenia
If you have had any experiences with Periodontitis being a cause of bone loss, would you share it with other readers?
Do you have experience with this? Please share it!