As we grow older, bone deterioration is something to begin thinking about. Ways of strengthening bones offer long lasting solutions, but may bring undesirable side effects. The use of bisphosphonates to help produce bone greatly helps patients dealing with bone problems, but may lead to Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ) in some cases. Lake Forest cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Fondriest, explores BRONJ, its possible cause, and its treatment.
Patients can take bisphosphonates orally or intravenously to treat bone loss. The drug becomes part of osteoclasts that eat away at bone and stops them in their tracks. Bisphosphonates have also proven effective for bone cancer patients taking chemotherapy drugs. Overall, the drug can improve bone density and stop bone deterioration. Yet, it is believed that bisphosphonates have a side effect of stopping blood flow to bone in a few instances. When this occurs in jawbone, it is called BRONJ.
Dead or dying jawbone exposed for longer than eight weeks is considered BRONJ. It can be identified by clear indicators like exposed bone and loose teeth. Patients who are given bisphosphonates intravenously show more cases of BRONJ. The disease progresses through three stages. Stage 1 includes exposed bone. Stage 2 additionally brings inflamed or infected bone or surrounding soft tissue. Stage 3 is identified by fractured bone in addition to infection. BRONJ can be prevented with good oral health and self-checks for possible signs of the disease. Avoiding extensive use of bisphosphonates also may prevent BRONJ.
Schedule Your Appointment
To discuss treatment options for BRONJ, contact our office. If you anticipate bisphosphonate therapy, talk with your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. Fondriest. Oral conditions should be addressed before bone cancer treatment.Call (847) 801-9694 for a checkup today. We proudly serve patients from the North Shore suburbs of Chicago.