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Dentists Help Confirm Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects an estimated 12 million Americans and another 40 million are at risk for developing the disease. One of the troubling things about osteoporosis is that it is rarely detected before a fracture occurs. At that point, the disease is more advanced and bones have already lost much of their density.

Luckily, dentists are on the lookout for early signs of osteoporosis. “The first sign of osteoporosis is usually discovered when we do a thorough gum and bone examination,” says Dr. Rafoth.

Depending on what the dentist finds in the examination, taking into account your family history and common risk factors, he or she may recommend you see your primary physician to be screened. “Often the presence of periodontal disease is enough to screen patients for osteoporosis,” explains Dr. Rafoth, however other risk factors for osteoporosis include smoking, menopause, an inactive lifestyle, and excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption.

Detecting this disease early is very important, so that you can take steps to treat it before fracturing any bones.

“Patients with osteoporosis or undergoing osteoporosis therapy are at greater risks for losing teeth if they have untreated periodontal disease,” Dr. Rafoth adds, so keep in mind that your dentist will want to work closely with you to keep that periodontal disease in check and prevent tooth loss.

Chris Rafoth is the owner of Lyons Creek Dental Care, providing medical dentistry, dental implants, and facial esthetics since 1998 for Shoreline and greater Seattle areas, as well as communities in King and Snohomish counties. Any questions or comments? Contact him at today!