For those of you who have denture phobia (the fear of having to wear dentures) you may worry obsessively about your teeth and the health of your gums. Tooth loss is most commonly caused by periodontal disease, which in most cases can be avoided, and periodontal disease affects your gums. However, there are things that affect your jaw too. Have you ever heard of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)? Read on to find out if your jaw is safe.
Osteonecrosis means areas of dead bone. Osteonecrosis of the Jaw means areas of dead jawbone. You usually find out you have Osteronecrosis of the Jaw after a tooth extraction. ONJ is caused by a lack of blood to the jaw area. Without blood flow, the jawbone dies. The area of dead bone heals slowly and can be painful to the touch. this is much more common when Post-menopausal osteopenic and osteoporotic women are prescribed Bisphosphantes to strengthen their bone.
A recent review of decades of research on ONJ has shown that those people taking certain drugs for osteoporosis, anticancer drugs, or glucocorticoids have an increased risk of developing ONJ. This includes people who receive frequent high doses of bisphosphonates (which can be found in anticancer and osteoporosis medications) over an extended period of time, who also have:
- Periodontal disease
- Oral surgery or dental extractions
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Chronic inflammation
- Poor oral hygiene
Prevention strategies for at-risk individuals include:
- Bone marrow stem cell transplants
- Laser therapy
About Your Lake Forest Dentist:
Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.