Signs of Osteonecrosis That You Need to Be Aware Of
Posted on 10/10/2018 by Andrew Zeiger
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a severe condition in which the cells in your jawbone start to die because of lack of blood supply. This condition is rare and believed to be the result of using certain medications prescribed for multiple myeloma and other types of cancers that have already spread to the bones.
You could also get osteonecrosis if you have osteoporosis or because bisphosphonates prevent the body from repairing damage to the jawbone.
Symptoms of Osteonecrosis
ONJ symptoms range from mild to severe, but it is critical to diagnose this severe condition as soon as possible. Some of the most common signs of osteonecrosis of the jaw are:
Gum pain or swelling
Numbness of the jaw
A weakness of jaw muscles
Visible bone in the mouth
Sockets that don't heal after an extraction
Treatment for Osteonecrosis
As with any other serious condition, early detection is critical to treat Osteonecrosis of the jaw successfully. With mild cases of ONJ, we can use mouthwash. When the disease is more severe, we can prescribe antibiotics, gels that you apply directly on your gums and other options.
Risks for ONJ
Only one to two people out of 100 who take bisphosphonates will develop ONJ, and it is not clear why it happens to some and not others. There is less risk of people who take medications for osteoporosis, according to scientific studies.
To reduce the risk of developing ONJ while on bisphosphonates, it is critical to maintain your teeth and gums healthy by practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and visiting us regularly. If you take these medications and need to have oral surgery, we recommend you have the surgery before you start your treatment and wait until you are fully healed. Please let us know if you have any questions about ONJ.
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