Older women are at a slight risk of oral complication from osteoporosis medications.
Post-menopausal women who are undergoing an osteoporosis treatment may experience oral complication such as osteonecrosis of the jaw very rarely. It has been found to occur around 1 percent to 2 percent of this population per year.
Oral complications are rare in women taking medications for postmenopausal osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"Our study covered the seven-year extension of the denosumab pivotal trial. We found dental procedures were common among these patients, but ONJ was rare with only 5.2 cases for every 10,000 patient-years. Not only was ONJ rare, but the 11 cases where the outcome is known to have healed," said the study's lead author, Nelson Watts, M.D., of Mercy Health in Cincinnati, Ohio. "The ONJ cases typically followed dental extractions or poorly fitting dentures. Of the 212 patients with dental implants, only one developed ONJ, and she continued denosumab, healed her ONJ, and still has the implant."
Researchers used data from the seven-year FREEDOM Extension trial to assess information on oral procedures and cases of ONJ in women taking denosumab for postmenopausal osteoporosis. They found 45 percent of patients had at least one invasive dental procedure, but the overall rate of ONJ was low. ONJ incidence was higher in those reporting a dental procedure.
"My hope is our study will help patients and oral care providers be better informed about the low risk of ONJ compared to the fracture prevention benefits of antiresorptive therapy in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis," Watts said.