St. Charles MO Dentist Tackles the Issue of Bone Health and Jaw Death

Senior Lady SmilesMedications can produce life-saving results and dramatically improve your health. However, the side effects of certain medications can be hard to overcome.

For example, patients with osteoporosis and certain bone cancers may be prescribed medications that contain ingredients known as Bisphosphonates. These medications may or may not be administered through an IV. While these medications are known to strengthen the bones, and they are typically only given a few times each year, they also come with a potential side-effect that should be seriously considered, some of which should be discussed with your dentist in St. Charles MO.

While the strength of the bones throughout the body can be improved through the use of these medications, doctors suspect that the bones of the jaw are being destroyed.

The bones that form our skeleton undergo a constant process of remodeling, whereas the blood flow causes old cells to be removed in order to be replaced by new cells. This process takes place especially rapidly in the jaw, as compared to other areas within the body. The role of Bisphosphonates is to slow down the rate of the cell removal process and increase the density of the bone by slowing the blood flow within the bone.

Unfortunately, following a tooth extraction or oral surgery, this blood flow is essential to the healing process. Patients who are taking medications that are known to reduce the flow of blood through the bones are at risk for serious complications, since the lack of blood can impair the jaw bone’s ability to heal. As a result the jaw bone can become painfully necrotic, or dead, contributing to frightening and disfiguring oral health complications.

Although complications are rare, it is best to inform your dentist of every medication that you are taking or will be taking soon. This enables your dentist to make more informed decisions on your behalf, taking certain precautions if necessary.

If you are taking any medications, contact your St. Charles MO dentist today to learn how these may impact your upcoming dental procedures.