06 Mar How to Prevent Dental Bone Loss?
Bone loss occurs without symptoms, which is why it often referred to as a silent disease. As its progression is slow, many people are not even aware that they have low bone mass or osteoporosis until their bones are so fragile that tripping or falling causes a fracture. Dental bone loss can result from several factors. While not all of the causes are controllable, such as age, there are easy steps to take for bone loss treatment and preventative purposes.
Bone Loss Treatment & Prevention through Diet
A great way to help maintain strong bones is to eat foods that are rich in calcium. A shortage of this mineral in the body can increase the risk of bone loss dramatically, as shown by the connections between low-calcium diets, rapid bone loss and broken bones.
In the interests of bone loss treatment and prevention, a good diet will include foods that are high in calcium, such as:
- Leafy green vegetables that are dark in color (broccoli, spinach, collard greens, etc.)
- Reduced-fat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Bone-in salmon and sardines
- Foods with calcium added; bread and orange juice are two examples
Vitamin D for Calcium Absorption
For the body to absorb calcium well, it must have high enough levels of vitamin D. Being deficient in this vitamin means results in an inability to absorb the calcium in eaten food, which renders bone loss treatment ineffective. An insufficient amount of absorbed calcium from foods forces the body to draw calcium from the bones. In turn, bones weaken and deteriorate.
Vitamin D is produced naturally in the skin by exposure to sunlight, and concentrations of the vitamin are attainable through foods eaten too. Fortified foods include egg yolks, liver, and dairy products.
People who are housebound, elderly, or get little sunlight, often during winter months, may not get enough vitamin D naturally. In these cases, vitamin D supplements may be helpful to reach the daily-recommended intake of 400-800 IU of this vitamin.
Smoking & Bone Loss
While the negative effects of smoking on the lungs and heart are well known, many people are not aware that smoking also negatively affects the bones. Research shows that female smokers have lower estrogen levels than non-smoking females and often reach menopause sooner.
It is during the starting years of menopause that bone loss occurs most quickly. With time, well into postmenopausal years, the bones can grow more brittle. Early onset menopause, therefore, means that a woman has more years of weaker bones.
Smokers, whether men or women, may also be less effective at absorbing calcium in foods eaten than non-smokers. With less calcium from the diet, the body takes the necessary amounts of calcium from the bones, resulting in bone loss.
For better bone protection, therefore, it typically makes sense for smokers to quit smoking. Doing so will help reduce smoking-related bone loss and lower the potential for fractures.