Does Osteoporosis Affect Teeth and Nails?

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Osteoporosis is characterized by reduced bone mass and strength, resulting in increased susceptibility to bone fracture. Osteoporosis can cause intense bone pain that can affect a person’s quality of life. Fractures can increase your risk for disability or death.

Does Osteoporosis Affect Teeth and Nails

This bone disease is associated with several risk factors. It is a chronic disease that poses a severe public health problem because of the high risk of low and non-traumatic fractures, especially to the vertebrae, hip, and forearm bones.

Growing evidence suggests that it can trigger or aggravate oral health problems such as periodontal disease, low bone density of the jaw, and tooth decay and loss.

Osteoporosis: Risk Factors

Various factors are responsible for the onset of osteoporosis in an individual. These factors may be age, race, lifestyle, genetic disposition, and certain medications, and treatments. Management of osteoporosis in the elderly and postmenopausal women can require extra care and effort.

Specific risk factors may include:

  • Hormone levels in the body like estrogen levels, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, or adrenal glands.
  • Dietary factors and lifestyle choices like low calcium intake, eating disorders and habits like a sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking can cause osteoporosis.
  • Long-term usage of drugs and medicines like oral or injected corticosteroids may cause osteoporosis. These drugs directly interfere with the process of bone rebuilding and maintenance. Osteoporosis is sometimes related to medications such as antiepileptics, antacids, chemotherapy, and immunosuppressants.
  • The risk of osteoporosis is also increased in people suffering from medical problems like gastric issues like Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Estrogen affects osteoporosis– it is a common cause of low bone health in women post-menopausal women.

Does Osteoporosis Affect Teeth and Nails?

Many studies and researches have been conducted over the last few years to determine the relationship between osteoporosis and teeth. The majority of them have studied the association between osteoporosis and periodontal disease, tooth infection, eventual tooth loss, and jawbone density.

senior hand and nails

The alveolar processes of the jaw bone provide the basic bony framework for teeth support. The loss of systemic bone density due to osteoporosis, especially in the oral cavity, can adversely affect the health of your teeth.

It has also been found that the decreased skeletal mass can be correlated with an increased risk of oral bone loss. It can result in a host system that is susceptible to infectious destruction of gum tissues. It can lead to gum disease.

Osteoporosis causes changes in the mineral make-up of the alveolar bone and can lead to the progression of gum disease.

Loss of Tooth

A direct association between tooth loss and osteoporosis has been established in recent years. Recent studies suggest a possible association between osteoporosis and periodontal disease among postmenopausal women and show a positive association between the two.

It has also been evaluated that osteoporosis has a negative impact on alveolar bone height in postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis or other bone defects in children can rarely cause early exfoliation of deciduous or baby teeth.

Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease

Osteoporosis and periodontal disease is a bone resorptive condition. Osteoporosis is characterized by a reduction in bone density, leading to skeletal fragility and fragility fracture.

Periodontitis is characterized by resorption of the jaw bone and is one of the significant causes of gum infection and tooth loss in adults.


As loss of alveolar bone is a result of periodontal disease, severe osteoporosis can be a triggering factor in the case of gum and periodontal tissue decay. It is often seen that the breakdown of periodontal tissue may be related to systemic diseases, including osteoporosis.

Also, many studies have proposed and proved the role of osteoporosis in the onset and progression of periodontitis (gum disease) and tooth loss. It can also be used vice versa; tooth loss can be an indicator of osteoporosis.

Loss of Bone Mass and Bone Density

Osteoporosis also results in the loss of bone mineral density throughout the body, including the maxilla and the mandible (upper and lower jawbones).

The resulting low bone mass and bone density in the jawbones leads to increased bone porosity, changes in trabecular pattern, and faster alveolar bone resorption.

It leads to invasion by periodontal bacteria and there is a high-risk factor for infection. Some systemic factors like interleukins and cytokines which affect bone remodeling may also lead to changes in the local gum tissue‘s response to periodontal infection.

Cytokines are biochemicals produced by osteoblasts or bone-forming cells that have a vital role in bone remodeling and balance. The best way to check bone health is a bone density scan called DEXA (Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry).

DEXA Sxan for Osteoporosis diagnosis

The dental and oral effects of osteoporosis generally affect more women than men. It holds for women who are already in the menopausal phase (unless they regularly use a therapy designed to replace lost hormones and balance them.)

It should also be taken into account that even if a person has no teeth and does not use dentures, osteoporosis can still show detrimental effects on dental and oral health. Bone weakness and loss can damage the bony ridges that hold dentures in the proper position.

It results in ill-fitting dentures. Research shows that osteoporosis patients are at risk of requiring new dentures more often than those with strong, healthy bones.

Women who have osteoporosis are most likely to experience difficulties linked to poor-fitting dentures or loss of dentures. The results of oral and dental surgical procedures are also not as effective for women with osteoporosis.


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Treatment of Osteoporosis: Effect on Oral Health

Apart from the effects of osteoporosis on oral health, bisphosphonate, which is used to treat osteoporosis, causes osteonecrosis of the jaws. It is a significant concern to a dentist or oral surgeon. The exact mechanisms by which the drugs act or cause necrosis of the jaws remains unclear.

The connection between osteonecrosis of the jaw and bisphosphonate use has not been determined yet. Hence, any form of invasive dental treatment like tooth extraction, for example, should be performed with utmost care in patients taking bisphosphonates.

tooth extraction

Medical data suggests that people who take bisphosphonates require special attention during dental treatment. Special care should be taken while placing dental implants or performing a tooth extraction, due to a concerning occurrence of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw bone (BRONJ) or exposed bone.

Osteoporosis and the Health of Your Nails

Chipping nails could be a sign of poor bone health. If it occurs frequently, it could indicate that the bones are just as brittle. A few studies suggest that people who have low collagen levels, which is a type of strengthening protein, in their nails don’t have enough in the bones, either.

Meanwhile, weak nails that often break and chip or vertical nail ridges show that their body lacks bone-building calcium. Bones and nails are partly made up of a connective tissue protein called collagen, which gives them structure and strength.

As people age, the collagen in the body deteriorates, leading to a reduction in bone health and mineral density. This decrease in collagen and reduction in bone density might be due to osteoporosis.

Bone mass density tests measure the density of minerals like calcium in bones. Low bone mass and bone mineral density are associated with weaker bones and the risk factor for the development of osteoporosis. Low levels of collagen can also lead to heart disease, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and reduced hair growth.


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Osteoporosis: Caring for Oral Health and Nails

Prevention of osteoporosis starts with consuming calcium-rich foods, getting enough Vitamin D, and performing exercises-isometric exercises for osteoporosis, coupled with yoga and weight-bearing exercises are beneficial.

cooking healthy food

  • Basic lifestyle changes can ensure a higher bone mass. Prevention measures are especially relevant to women, who are at a higher risk of this bone disease. A healthy diet plan for osteoporosis prevention and regular exercise are recommended.
  • The best way to correct and prevent oral health problems is to avoid delaying or postponing dental treatments. Regular dental visits are essential in fixing issues in oral and dental health caused by weak bones. A healthy lifestyle is necessary for strengthening and maintaining good healthy tooth enamel as well as strong bones.
  • Practical tips in optimizing healthy teeth and bone strength include consuming a well-balanced diet containing high amounts of Vitamin D and calcium and performing regular physical activities. Increased consumption of calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, kale, broccoli, and sardines are beneficial.
  • Supplements for osteoporosis can also be taken to prevent calcium deficiency. However, older people must consume calcium and vitamin D supplements with caution. According to the American Dietetic Association, “The recommended calcium levels are not more than 2.5 grams a day and not more than for vitamin D, 1,000 per day. Consuming more than the recommended levels can prove to be toxic to the kidneys, liver, or heart.”
  • The best exercises for strengthening bones are jogging, weight training, and aerobics, dancing and walking. Yoga for osteoporosis is gaining popularity as an effective way to manage the effects of low bone density.
  • Immediately report problems to your dental office related to receding gums, ill-fitting or loose dentures, and missing tooth/ loose teeth. It is also important that you maintain oral hygiene at home too. As age increases, it may become difficult to do so. Therefore older individuals must use dental floss that has a handle and a toothbrush with a bigger handle. Another trick is to attach a rubber ball around the handle of the toothbrush. They can also simply switch to an automatic toothbrush.

Collagen For Osteoporosis:

Consuming collagen supplements may help reduce the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis. They have the potential to help increase bone mineral density and lower levels of proteins in the blood that stimulate bone breakdown.

Various studies have demonstrated that collagen supplements may have specific effects in the body that help inhibit bone breakdown, leading to osteoporosis. Collagen and calcium supplementation can also improve the health of skin, nails, and hair.

There are various studies that strongly suggest that collagen can strengthen bone tissue. Collagen supplementation is also known to stimulate differentiation of the bone-building cells (osteoblasts) to produce a new collagen matrix.

collagen powder supplement

Collagen supplementations also enhance the existing bone-collagen matrix while reducing the activity of the bone-breakdown cells, also called osteoclasts. Another bonus of supplementing with collagen is an increase in skin hydration and elasticity to reduce wrinkles. Collagen will help maintain youthful and radiant skin as well as strong bones. Collagen is a great supplement to combat hair loss too.

Osteoporosis results from a gross imbalance in the rates of bone formation and resorption that cause bones to lose mineral mass. It most often affects middle-aged and elderly people, the same group of the population with the highest risk of chronic periodontal disease (gum disease) and tooth loss

Evidence suggests that there is an association between periodontitis and osteoporosis, but there is hardly any awareness about the extent to which dental health can be impacted.

Many more studies and awareness programs are required to assess the role of osteoporosis in various oral conditions, to demonstrate the clinical effects of osteoporosis therapies on oral health and nails. It is vital to throw light on the fact that dental and dermatological examinations are of huge value for initial screening for signs of osteoporosis.

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