321Marie

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Sep 24, 2002
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Hi. Quick question.

Can you tell me if bone loss causes gum disease, or if gum disease causes bone loss.

(I hope that question makes sense. I am PRE-menopause and am trying to determine if the cause of a couple areas where my gums are starting to recede is the result of osteopenia/porisis, or the beginnings of gum disease. I know someone with wicked gum disease (where her gums were receding and her teeth were literally falling out) that does not have low bone density (osteoporosis). As for me, I have a couple areas where my gums are receding, but I don't have inflamed, swollen gums, or loose teeth, etc. hmmmm The more I try to figure this all out, the more confused I am getting. {sigh}

I would really appreciate anyone's opinion on this. Thank you!

(This link has further info, if the above isn't sufficient. Thanks.)
http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=47275
 

UBTom

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Jul 24, 2002
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Heya,

In most cases it's gum disease that causes bone loss in the jaws. Most common is chronic periodontitis. Plaque and calculus accumulating on tooth surfaces, acting as a constant source of bacteria and toxins, causes inflammation and breakdown of the gums and eventually the teeth-supporting bone underneath. This can be exacerbated by smoking by the way.

There is ongoing research that is trying to determine whether or not osteoporosis can actually be a risk factor for gum disease (i.e. the other way around), but I think it is not conclusive yet.
 
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