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Bone Health and Teeth

Bone Health and Teeth – What’s the connection?

Most people don’t associate bone health with healthy teeth.  However, there is a correlation. Bones and teeth use many of the same nutrients and are formed in a similar manner. Most people that have strong bones, also have strong teeth. The inverse is true as well; poor bone health often equates to poor dental health.

Osteoporosis is a disease of decreased bone density which often leads to increased bone fractures. Over 40 million people in the United States either have osteoporosis or are at high risk because of low bone density.  Research shows a direct link between low bone mass and tooth loss.  Tooth loss affects about 33% of adults over the age of 65.  When bone density is reduced, there the jawbone becomes less dense and tooth loss occurs.

If you think that bone loss and tooth loss are only for the elderly may lead you to early tooth degradation and tooth loss. Bone loss typically starts many years before osteoporosis sets in – typically 20 years before. So your jaw degradation, gum disease and tooth loss can easily start their down-hill slide in the late 30s or early 40s.  If adolescent dental care and nutrition were substandard, the deterioration can start even sooner, say your 20’s and early 30’s.  Some children with poor care and nutrition may be prone to tooth loss their entire lives.  Along with early tooth loss, they are plagued with poor general health and underdeveloped bone structures.

What can you do?  Starting at an early age, build your bones and teeth with good nutrition. Throughout your life make sure you consume adequate calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin K and phosphorus.  These are all necessary to maintain strong teeth and bones.