By: Dr. JoAnn Manson

Q: I am 46 and have osteoporosis. In the last four years, I have had major dental issues, including lost teeth and gum tissue. Could this be caused by the osteoporosis? If so, what can I do or take to help with this?

Janet, California


People who are living with osteoporosis can certainly experience associated dental health issues. But bone loss can also be attributed to a number of other dental problems as well. In addition to seeing a knowledgeable dentist who can identify the source of your problems, you can take some steps to help prevent osteoporosis-related dental problems.

First, it’s really important that you get an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D. You should be getting at least 1,200 mg a day of calcium, and most experts now recommend a minimum of 800 to 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D. You might even want to have screening tests done to check your vitamin D levels to see if you need higher doses. There is also a possibility that vitamin D may be helpful in preventing infections, including those linked to periodontal disease.

Since you’ve already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I assume you are receiving treatment for it. You don’t mention that you’re taking estrogen, but it might be a very reasonable treatment to consider with your doctor, given your young age and some evidence that estrogen might also be helpful for dental-health problems. The main ways to stay on top of your osteoporosis and dental health are to get enough calcium and vitamin D, see your dentist and primary-care doctor regularly, and follow good dental-hygiene habits including daily brushing and flossing.

Original Source: EveryDayHealth.com