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Dental staff and doctors 'should work together' to tackle osteoporosis
Updated: 5/19/2008 4:00:24 PM

Researchers have called on physicians and dentists to work together in order to improve the early detection and treatment of osteoporosis.

Writing in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the team noted that the medical management of osteoporosis includes diet control, exercise, discontinuation of tobacco and alcohol intake and use of medications – including bisphosphonates, which have been associated with the development of osteocrosis of the jaw.

A research team at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry recently announced that they have found a link between bisphosphonates and 'bone death' (osteonecrosis) in the jaw.

Lead researcher Parish Sedghizadeh stated that microbial biofilms are causing jaw tissue infections in patients taking bisphosphonate drugs, usually after a tooth extraction or injury when the bone is exposed.

However, the article in the American Dental Association's journal suggests that changes to bisphosphonate therapy should be made only after consultation with the patient's physician.

"Dentists need to understand osteoporosis, its treatments and its complications to provide adequate care," it stated.

The study also found that osteoporosis and related fractures are more common than coronary disease, stroke and breast cancer, indicating that dentists should be made more aware of the disease in same way they are other serious illnesses.

© 2008 Brafton Inc.


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