How Osteoporosis is Related to Tooth Loss

Osteoporosis and tooth loss are health concerns that affect many older men and women. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. This disease can affect any bone in the body, although the bones in the hip, spine, and wrist are most commonly affected. In the United States more than 40 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.

Research suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. The bone in the jaw supports and anchors the teeth. When the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur, a common occurrence in older adults. Tooth loss affects approximately one-third of adults age 65 and older.

Bone Density & Dental Concerns

The portion of the jawbone that supports our teeth is known as the alveolar process. Several studies have found a link between the loss of this bone matter and an increase in loose teeth or tooth loss. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those who do not have the disease.

Low bone density in the jaw can result in other dental problems as well. For example, older women with osteoporosis may be more likely to have difficulty with loose or ill-fitting dentures and may have less optimal outcomes from oral surgical procedures.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

The National Institute of Health has created some excellent guidelines on How to Prevent Osteoporosis.