GOOD HYGIENE AND ORAL CARE REDUCES RISK
Osteonecrosis (ONJ) may sometimes occur following a tooth extraction in patients who are taking medications to treat cancer or osteoporosis. What happens is that the jaw bone may become exposed and could be affected from a lack of blood in the region.
The medications associated with ONJ are called “antiresorptive” and may include treatments for radiation steroid use or medications used for osteoporosis. Some specific examples of these medications include bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax); zoledronic acid (Reclast); risedronate (Actonel and Atelvia); ibandronate (Boniva) and denosumab (Prolia).
IF YOU HAVE PAIN IN YOUR JAW, CONTACT YOUR ORAL SURGEON
The good news is that the majority of patients with ONJ who are on the treatment plans or medications listed above can be healed without needing surgery.
However, if you are experiencing any pain, exposed bone, soft tissue swelling or drainage, the best plan, as always, is to immediately contact your oral surgeon’s office. They will most likely suggest a conservative treatment program consisting of antibiotics, rinsing and oral analgesics.
Of course, having regular-check-ups and looking after your oral hygiene is always a good, solid approach. And if it can lower your risk of osteonecrosis, all the better.
As always, be sure to let your dentist and oral surgeon know what medications or treatments you are currently undergoing. Information is still one of the most powerful tools we use to keep our patients happy.
DID YOU KNOW?
The jaw bone (mandible) is the hardest bone in the human body. The mandible is one of 14 bones that make up your facial skeleton.
DID YOU KNOW?
Anyone can get osteonecrosis, but it is most common in people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.