Dental Records Could Enable Early Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

It’s conceivable that osteoporosis may be identified many years before a person displays symptoms.

Dental researchers at the University of Manchester are developing a new technique known as Osteodent. This technique would diagnose osteoporosis before a person ever displayed any symptoms. Some dentists are beginning to use Osteodent to analyze scans and dental records to see if a person is at a higher risk for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis causes one’s bones to become thinner and weaker. There is no way, as of now, to determine if a person is at higher risk for the disease. The condition is only diagnosed after a person shows symptoms and a bone density test is conducted.

Bone scans on the jaw can pinpoint signs of deterioration in other bone tissues. According to research for this method, bone density in women doesn’t change until a person is 42. There were 5,000 patients studied between the ages of 15 and 94.

Dentists are in a prime position to be at the forefront of this because of all of the jaw x-rays they conduct. If the Osteodent method is as effective as the study indicates, many lives could be saved and the lives of others could be greatly improved.

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