Introducing a preventive dental care program to cancer patients who are being treated with bisphosphonates can help reduce their risk of suffering from ostenonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), research suggests.
Gum disease increases the chances that a person develops ONJ, which may arise occasionally in those who are undergoing certain cancer treatments, DG News reports.
Carla Ripamonti of the National Cancer Institute in Milan told an audience at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research that implementing a dental care regimen resulted in a reduced incidence of the jaw condition for affected patients.
Participants in one group received various dental procedures before beginning bisphosphonate treatment and underwent check-ups every six months. The other group did not receive dental care.
Following per-protocol analyses, it was determined that those in the dental group were 76 percent less likely to contract ONJ.
"Data from this trial clearly illustrate that ONJ can be effectively prevented and managed," Ripamonti stated, according to the news source.
Bisphosphonates work by slowing or ceasing the process by which bone tissue naturally dissolves, thus preserving density and strength.
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