Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

X-rays Help Predict Permanent Bone Damage From Bisphosphonates

Date:
May 12, 2009
Source:
Academy of General Dentistry
Summary:
Bisphosphonates have been found to place people at risk for developing osteonecrosis of the jaws (a rotting of the jaw bones). Dentists, as well as oncologists, are now using X-rays to detect "ghost sockets" in patients that take these drugs and when these sockets are found, it signals that the jawbone is not healing the right way. Early detection of these ghost sockets can help the patient avoid permanent damage to their jawbone.

Breast cancer patients, individuals at risk for osteoporosis and those undergoing certain types of bone cancer therapies often take drugs containing bisphosphonates. These drugs have been found to place people at risk for developing osteonecrosis of the jaws (a rotting of the jaw bones). Dentists, as well as oncologists, are now using X-rays to detect "ghost sockets" in patients that take these drugs and when these sockets are found, it signals that the jawbone is not healing the right way.

Early detection of these ghost sockets can help the patient avoid permanent damage to their jawbone, according to an article in the March/April 2009 issue of General Dentistry.

A ghost socket occurs when the jawbone is not healing and repairing itself the right way. "The good news is that even though these ghost sockets may occur, by using radiographic techniques we can see that the soft tissue above these sockets can still heal," according to Kishore Shetty, DDS, MS, MRCS, lead author of the report. Dr. Shetty states these findings are important news to learn about because early prevention and detection can halt permanent damage from happening to a patient's jawbone.

In 2006, about 191 million prescriptions of oral bisphosphonates worldwide were written. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that nearly 44 million people in the United States are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Currently, approximately 10 million Americans suffer from the disease.

Bisphosphonates are a family of drugs used to prevent and treat osteoporosis, multiple myeloma, Paget's disease (bone cancers), and bone metastasis from other cancers. These drugs can bond to bone surfaces and prevent osteoclasts (cells that break down bone) from doing their job. Other cells are still working trying to form bone, but it may turn out to be less healthy bone leading to the ghost-like appearance on X-rays.

"Healthy bones can easily regenerate," says Dr. Shetty. "But, because jawbones have rapid cell turnover, they can fail to heal properly in patients taking any of the bisphosphonate drugs. It's very important for patients to know about complications from dental surgery or extractions. Since these drugs linger in the bone indefinitely, they may upset the cell balance in how the jaws regenerate and remove unhealthy bone."

According to AGD spokesperson Carolyn Taggart-Burns, DDS, FAGD, patients who are taking bisphosphonates should inform their dentist to prevent complications from dental surgical procedures.

"Widespread use of bisphosphonates to prevent or treat early osteoporosis in relatively young women and the likelihood of long-term use is a cause for concern," says Dr. Taggart-Burns.

Drs. Shetty and Taggart-Burns agree that, "how bisphosphonates interfere with healing after dental surgery is still unclear and further research will be needed. It is imperative that the public understands there is no present treatment or cure for this problem."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy of General Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Academy of General Dentistry. "X-rays Help Predict Permanent Bone Damage From Bisphosphonates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507164358.htm>.
Academy of General Dentistry. (2009, May 12). X-rays Help Predict Permanent Bone Damage From Bisphosphonates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507164358.htm
Academy of General Dentistry. "X-rays Help Predict Permanent Bone Damage From Bisphosphonates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090507164358.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins