Osteoporosis is an all-too-common disease that decreases the skeletal bone density and weakens the strength of the bones.  This weakened architecture increases the risk of fractures and can easily cause disability, pain, and suffering.  Affecting more than 12 million Americans (and 200 million people worldwide) above the age of 50, this disorder starts as “osteopenia” at early ages.  Osteopenia is a lower than normal bone mass and is thought to affect almost 34 million people.  Recent research has identified that low skeletal bone density aggravates periodontal disease.  I’ve certainly seen this evidenced in my clinical patients over the past 30 years!  

As with many chronic diseases, there are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.  Things like age, gender, ethnicity are non-modifiable.  The good news is that there are many more modifiable areas that we can influence with small daily changes.  LIVE YOUNGER by changing what you can to have the strongest skeletal structure possible.  START SOMEWHERE to:

  • Increase your physical activity.  Since bone is a living tissue, it reacts to weight-bearing movement such as walking, gardening, lifting of weight, tennis, or dancing, to name a few.  Find something you enjoy and START SOMEWHERE today.  It is important to note that over-exercising is as bad for the bones as under-exercising.
  • Eat calcium-rich foods.  Surprisingly, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, parsley, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, spinach, and celery are good sources.  Organic, unsweetened dairy products like milk, buttermilk, cheese and yogurt, as well as almonds and English walnuts are good for bone strength.  
  • Get your Vitamin D tested.  Actually a hormone, Vitamin D is essential for getting calcium into your bones.  The body can make it by absorbing rays of sunlight.  Vitamin D3 comes from fish and red meat, and Vitamin D2 is found in plants.  Vitamin D receptors are located all over the body, including the bones, brain, pancreas, kidneys, spinal cord, and thyroid gland.  Supplementation is inexpensive, so get your level up to between 70-90 ng/m.
  • Decrease or eliminate soda consumption.  Colas, including the sugar-laden and diet forms, contain phosphoric acid, which leaches calcium out of the bones.  
  • Deal with over-consumption of alcohol.  Chronic, heavy drinking (three or more drinks per day), especially in the young adult years, may irreversibly compromise bone quality.  The effect of moderate alcohol use on bone health is unclear.
  • Minimize your sugar consumption.  I have to tell you the sweet truth!  Sugar is so acidifying that it pulls calcium from the bones and excretes it in the urine.  Until the 20th century, table sugar was only a condiment and people consumed very little of it.  In 2010, the per capita consumption was 66 pounds.  
  • Avoid cigarette smoke, including secondhand smoke.  I was recently at a medical conference in Las Vegas, and the path to the meetings required the casino route.  The secondhand smoke was incredibly thick, despite expensive filtration systems.  Bone turnover happens constantly, and nicotine slows the production of bone-forming cells. Researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Center also found that cigarette smoke caused an excess in the cells that break bone down.

The number of individuals with osteoporosis is expected to increase to 14 million by 2020.  Yikes!  It is troubling to me that it is responsible for 800,000 emergency room visits and approximately 200,000 nursing home placements.  In other words, low bone density steals mobility and independence.  Bone is the scaffolding that supports the body against the pull of gravity.  

I’ve been blogging over the past few weeks about the relationship of gum disease to other chronic inflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Obesity.  Look for these posts starting on November 15 with The Canary in the Coal Mine.  Periodontal Disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that is a major cause of tooth loss.  We’ve known that for decades.  Now we know that it increases the body’s inflammatory load and contributes directly and indirectly to many other chronic inflammatory diseases that steal vitality, as well as increase the need for daily pharmaceuticals along with their side effects and nutrient depletions.

Low bone density aggravates periodontal disease.  LIVE YOUNGER with simple strategies to build healthy bone naturally, which is great for every area of your life.  Today is the best day to just START SOMEWHERE!  Thanks for stopping by.

Low Skeletal Bone Density Aggravates Periodontal Disease

Low Skeletal Bone Density
Aggravates Periodontal Disease