Have you ever felt concerned about the future of your bone density? Bone loss is a reality for many people, particularly women, as they get older. For many, they trust their general physicians when they are prescribed bisphosphonate drugs for conditions such as osteoporosis. While bisphosphonates are a terrific solution for many people, including those battling with bone loss as a result of certain types of cancer, there are occasionally serious side effects. Dr. James Stewart, your Livonia dentist, will tell you more about Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ), which can actually defeat the very purpose of bone building bisphosphonate medication.
Beneath the bone cells (osteoclasts), bisphosphonates stick to the surface of the bone. The medication binds with the osteoclasts, stopping the process of bone deterioration. Bone density improves, which helps alleviate high risks for bone fractures in the aged. Bisphosphonate drug benefits are still seen for years after the drug has last been taken. Osteoporosis and cancer patients that suffer from weakened bones, or lowered bone density are free to live a life without the fear of fractures from every day activities, or accidental falls.
What is BRONJ?
Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ) is basically when a portion of the jawbone dies. Among BRONJ symptoms are:
- Localized pain
- Swelling of gum tissue
- Loose teeth
- Exposed bone
BRONJ is not a common occurrence in patients that take bisphosphonate medications, but when it occurs, medical intervention is important. Prevention is the best practice to avoiding BRONJ. If you feel bisphosphonate therapy is the correct option for you, visit your dentist for a thorough checkup before you start taking the drugs. Discuss your plans with your dentist, and provide them with the dosage information and reasons for taking the drugs. Most likely, your dentist will suggest diligent oral hygiene practices and more frequent dental checkups.
Visit Your Livonia Dentist
Considering taking bisphosphonate drug therapy and want to talk to a dentist first? Dr. Stewart is here to help you with all of your comprehensive dentistry needs, contact our 48154 dentist office. Schedule an appointment today by calling (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.