Osteoporosis and Oral Health | Meraki Dental Studio
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Osteoporosis and Oral Health

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones and makes them more prone to fracture. Osteoporosis can affect any part of the body — including the jawbone that supports the teeth.

This may be of particular concern if you are considering certain dental procedures — for example, getting dental implants to replace missing teeth. Implants are today's gold standard for tooth replacement, because they look and function so much like real teeth. But their success depends on a process known as osseointegration, by which they fuse to living bone in the jaw. For this to occur, that bone must be relatively healthy; however osteoporosis — and certain medications used to treat it — may affect your oral health.

Bone: An Ever-Changing Tissue

The living bone tissue in the body isn't like the dry, white skeleton. It is constantly being remodeled by two natural processes: resorption, in which the body removes and breaks down old, damaged bone; and bone formation, where the removed material is replaced by new, healthy bone. In an ideal situation, both processes happen at an equal rate; osteoporosis, however, tips the balance toward resorption, weakening the bone structure.

A class of drugs called bisphosphonates (whose brand names include Fosamax, Boniva, Reclast and Prolia) can inhibit resorption and help bring the two processes back into balance. But for reasons that aren't fully understood, these medications sometimes have a different effect on the bones of the jaw. In rare cases, long-term bisphosphonate users experience osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a condition in which isolated areas of jawbone lose their vitality and die. If you are a candidate for oral surgery, tooth extraction or implant placement, it's important to consider the possible effect of bisphosphonate use before you have this type of procedure.

Taking Medication

Over 90 percent of the people who suffer from bisphosphonate-associated ONJ received high doses of the medication intravenously — often for cancer treatment. Only a small percentage of those who take the drug orally are likely to develop this condition. So generally speaking, if you have osteoporosis or are at high risk of bone fractures, the benefit of taking these medications far outweighs the risk.

But if you are about to begin therapy with high doses of bisphosphonates, it's ideal to have a dental exam and resolve any oral disease before beginning the medication. Likewise, while you're receiving the medication, it's best to avoid invasive dental treatments if possible. However, since untreated oral disease may cause serious health problems, be sure to discuss the situation with all members of your medical team before making treatment decisions.

Most people who take oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis won't have to postpone or avoid dental procedures, because they have little risk of developing ONJ. In the case of dental implant placement, the decision to proceed is made on an individual basis, after a thorough examination of the quality and quantity of tooth-supporting bone in the jaw. The presence of osteoporosis may influence the type of implants used, and the amount of healing time needed to complete the osseointegration process.

No matter what dental procedures you are considering, it is vital to keep us informed about any medical conditions you have, and any drugs you may be taking — both prescription and non-prescription.

Preventing Osteoporosis

There are several ways you can help prevent osteoporosis. For a start, make sure you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D. It also helps to decrease your caffeine and alcohol intake, and quit smoking. Weight-bearing exercise — physical activities that force you to work against gravity, like walking, jogging or weight training — can bring a host of benefits. And don't forget your regular visits to the dental office. Your dental professionals don't just help you to maintain good oral health — we encourage you to keep up your overall health as well.  

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Namit Nagar

Painless experience. Dental cleansing and cavity which would have lead to a RCT procedure were treated with a strong filling. Smile better, Chew better - Live Better! Thanks a ton Dr. Harleen Gandhi!

Sunita Rath

I visited meraki studio today and absolutely love it . thank you for the wonderful experience.

Viral Patel

I had visited the clinic for Scaling treatment which was perfectly done by the Doctor in charge. Also the environment and the service by the clinic staff was amazing. Happy and satisfied after visiting Meraki Dental Studio. Cheers

Nidhi Arora

I visited Meraki Dental Clinic with a problem related to my Gums. Now that i have been cured, i feel much happy and more confident and finally relieved. My Smile has been fixed. Thank you Doctor Harleen and her superb team! Can proudly say - She's my Family Doctor! Highly recommended to all.

Hema Singh

Dr. Harleen helped me with my tooth that was hurting me since 6 months now. I really thank her for the painless and quick treatment. After being treated by Dr. Harleen, I can say that I am no more scared of visiting "Dentists". The staff was very helpful as well and the clinic is very hygienic and well maintained. Thank you Meraki Dental Studio for relieving me of my problem.

Tejeesh Nippun Singh

Believing in the dictum that no news is good news, I have never ever visited a dentist in my 43 years of existence, till the time I met Dr Harleen - mainly for fear that a dentist might give me some bad news which I didn't want to hear. I think what clinched the deal in her favour - and compelled me to break my informal vow to not see a dentist - was her professional knowledge about her chosen field. It certainly adds to her advantage that she can empathise with a patient's apprehensions regarding a visit to a dentist, which makes her work doubly hard to ensure that each patient, including children, who come to her, have a happy, painless experience. She also makes an effort to keep herself updated about the latest developments & practices in dentistry, which inspires confidence in not just the patient who's visiting, but also to refer her as a dentist of choice to one's friends and family. Add to that her generally sunny disposition & warmth and one can safely say that Dr Harleen is one dentist whom you look forward to visit. One wishes her greater success in her profession.

Mehul Arora

Who doesn't love painless treatments especially when it comes to visiting a dentist. I am sure everyone has this fear of going to a dentist but not anymore. I am happily satisfied to share my case with Dr. Harleen, a very knowledgeable and warming dentist indeed. She explains and suggest treatments so nicely that the patient would want to trust her blindly. She believes in providing the patient with a complete oral health which not only prevents a person from future oral risks but also providing them with an aesthetically beautiful smile. The assistant and front desk people are also very caring and professional. So if you want to pamper your smile then this is the place. I have found my lifetime dentist for sure and recommend everyone out there to visit Meraki Dental Studio. Kudos to you and your team.

Somnath Majumdar

I would like to place on record an appreciation for Dr. Harleen Kalsi of Meraki Dental Studio, South Extension. My twelve-year-old son – Royen – required braces to correct the teeth alignment. He has always been apprehensive about the procedure. On his first visit itself, Dr. Harleen made him completely settled with the procedure and made him willing to take it on. The eventual teeth extractions were painless for him and say that he didn’t even realize when the tooth came off. The following sittings to put the braces and thereafter, were extremely comfortable and relaxing for Royen. He has been well taken care off. The team demonstrated the true spirit of ‘Meraki’ when Royen had visited them alone. They took extra care of him and went out of the way to arrange for his transport back home. They do put in a lot of heart & soul in their noble profession. I am glad that Dr. Harleen Kalsi, of Meraki Dental Studio is there to take care of my family’s oral wellbeing. All the best.

Mr. Rohit Bhatla

Meeting youngsters, such high tech advanced doctors loaded with advanced technology makes a lot of difference. It's an eye opener. Getting yourself treated at Meraki is an experience in itself.

Renu Kaushal

Dr. Harleen makes going to a dentist such a happy affair. Her calm demeanor, her professional expertise and her advise take away all the fears one associates with a dentist visit. Thank you Dr. Harleen. May you thrive and cherish, so our smiles, we may cherish.

Vivek Modi

Had an awesome experience. The way Dr. Gandhi handled my children and soft gloved them into the cavity treatment, is noteworthy.

Juhi Manchanda

I would highly recommend Meraki to everyone. The treatment went very smooth... hygiene was looked after well. Great job done.