Can dental X-rays predict which patients may be at risk of breaking bones at a future date? According to a Swedish study published in the journal Nature Reviews Endocinology the answer may be yes. This research showed that sparse bone structure in the lower jaw is an indicator that a person is at greater risk for bone fractures in the future.
The study used data from the Swedish Gothenburg study of women that has been running for over 40 years. The researchers believe that although the study data was about women, the same link will apply to men. The study also showed that the older the person, the stronger the link between the sparse bone structure in the jaw and bone fractures. Hopefully this research will translate into guidelines that can be used in dental offices since more people get regular dental x-rays than seek out bone density testing or other types of x-rays. A dentist could share x-ray data with physicians to help monitor those most at risk of fracture. One more reason to keep those regular dental visits and get dental x-rays when your dentist has them scheduled.
Dental x-rays are used for more than finding hidden cavities. Dentists already use the films to check on the health of the jaw bone and to look for oral cancers so they are an important part of your dental examination. Digital x-rays (radiographs) have reduced the amount of radiation drastically. You actually receive more radiation on a cross country airplane flight that you do from your dental x-rays!
Please contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994 to schedule your next appointment. If you can’t remember the last time you had dental x-rays it is time to get them scheduled!