Osteoporosis Drug May Help Dental Implant and Gum Disease Patients!

Forteo, also known under the generic name teriparatide, is marketed by Eli Lilly to re-grow bone in osteoporosis patients. In fact, it is the only FDA approved drug of its type. Soon, however, the FDA may approve Forteo for the treatment of bone loss in gum disease patients.

People who have gum disease are known to experience bone loss around the affected gums in the mid to late stage of periodontal disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and has been linked to other medical conditions. Tooth loss can inhibit daily life as well, by affecting speech and the ability to eat properly. Many people with gum disease who have missing teeth seek out dental implants, which are tooth replacements that require adequate bone structure in order to be a candidate for treatment.

To date, it has been extremely difficult to re-grow bone that is lost due to periodontal disease. Instead, preventative measures have been the best way to manage periodontal disease and consequently, prevent bone loss. These preventive measures include root planning and scaling which is a deep cleaning of the teeth and surrounding gum tissue. Biofilm treatment is also performed to thwart off the progression and effects of gum disease. Laser treatment and antibiotics have been administered to prevent the progression of gum disease.  Periodontal surgery helps to manage gum disease at the late stage.

Recently, study results presented by School of Dentistry’s Michigan Center for Oral Health Research show that a new treatment for gum disease may be on the horizon- teriparatide. The results of study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers evaluated participants over one year’s time following a six week course of teriparatide injections, calcium and vitamin D supplements. The results demonstrated a twenty-nine percent growth in bone measurements by the end of the year.  A follow up study is planned to identify if bone can re-grow around targeted sites, such as around dental implants.

If you are interested in general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.