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Visit the dentist to predict fracture risk
Updated: 12/8/2011 5:00:15 PM

"Dental X-rays contain lots of information on bone structure," says Grethe Jonasson, the researcher at the Research Center of the Public Dental Service in Vastra Gotaland who led the fractures study. "By analyzing these images, dentists can identify people who are at greater risk of fractures long before the first fracture occurs." There are plenty of reasons to visit the dentist regularly, and there seems to be more popping up everyday. For example, research published in the journal Bone has found that dental X-rays can be used to predict people who may be at a high risk of experiencing bone fractures. The X-rays can show the bone structure in the lower jaw, which is an indicator of fracture risk.

"Dental X-rays contain lots of information on bone structure," says Grethe Jonasson, the researcher at the Research Center of the Public Dental Service in Vastra Gotaland who led the fractures study. "By analyzing these images, dentists can identify people who are at greater risk of fractures long before the first fracture occurs."

The scientists found that frail bone structure in the lower jaw in middle age is associated with a higher risk of experiencing fractures in other parts of the body. This study was conducted over a 40-year time period, so that researchers were able to see if the X-ray results could accurately predict fractures later in life.

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