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Links to Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Research conducted at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry and published in the June 2010 issue of  the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research suggests that osteo­necrosis of the jaw may be linked with an interaction between nitrogen-containing bisphospho­­nates and vitamin D function. Bis­phosphonates are often prescribed for breast cancer, prostate cancer, myeloma, and osteoporosis, and an increased incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw has been associated with the use of bisphospho­nates. The study used a rat model of osteo­ne­cro­sis of the jaw related to bisphosphonates and re­sem­bling the human disease. The study suggests that insufficient vitamin D has a major role in the manifesta­tion and severity of this disease. The re­searchers hope that subsequent studies of the role of vitamin D will yield additional information that could help prevent and treat osteonecrosis of the jaw in patients who re­quire bisphosphonate treatment.
(Source: UCLA Healthy Years, UCLA Di­vision of Geriatrics, Sep­tember 2010, Volume 7, Number 9)

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