Hope, and Caution, for Bone Disease Patients

Bone Disease SymptomsRoughly 25% of Americans battle with bone and joint health conditions, the most common of which is osteoporosis. Your bones support your entire body’s frame, and when they are afflicted, treatment is absolutely necessary to reinforce your bones and help prevent fractures and breaks. A common and effective treatment option for bone diseases is the use of bisphosphonate drugs, which slow or halt the mechanisms that dissolve your bone, allowing them to grow strong again. However, the hope that this treatment offers must come with a word of warning. Chandler implant dentist Dr. Mark Arooni explains how bisphosphonates help patients with bone disease, and why the treatment warrants caution.

Bisphosphonates—Your Bones’ Bodyguards

Your bones consist of living cells that continuously regenerate. Malignant bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of the bone, and some forms of cancer, cause your bone tissue to dissolve at a faster rate than your bones can regenerate, severely weakening them. Like all physiological processes, bone deterioration is governed by programmed cells. Bisphosphonates deter this process by binding to bone’s surface directly underneath the destructive cells, known as “osteoclasts,” to stop them from dissolving bone tissue and allow the bone to regrow.

What is BRONJ?

While bisphosphonates have proven effective at preventing bone deterioration, there have been instances on concern regarding extended use of the drugs. Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (or BRONJ) is characterized by an area of your jawbone that has died and been exposed. The exact cause of BRONJ is unknown, but patients who undergo dental procedures during bisphosphonate therapy comprise about 60% of BRONJ cases.

If you are a victim of malignant bone disease and plan on beginning bisphosphonate therapy in the near future, be sure to visit your Chandler dentist for a thorough examination first. Complete any necessary dental procedures, including replacing missing teeth, before you begin bisphosphonate treatment to reduce your risk of developing BRONJ. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Arooni by calling our Chandler dental office at 480-855-1200. Located in the 85224 area, Lakeview Dental Care proudly serves patients from Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and all surrounding communities.

By Mark Arooni DDS