One of the disorders that are developing and have no real treatment is Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ). It is also known as the “jaw disease”. In some cases, when the dental procedures are not as hygienic as they should be, oral infections take place. They are much severe in osteoporosis patients that take bisphosphonates. Initially ONJ was seen in those patients who used to take these medications as intravenous drugs. But the recent studies have shown the results otherwise too. Taking bisphosphonates orally can lead to the same condition. Bisphosphonates and Boniva, Bonefos, Aredia, Zometa, Actonel, Fosamax are few names of the drugs which are used to treat patients of cancer, degenerative bone disorders, osteoporosis, and Paget’s disease.
Osteoporosis specialist, Dr. Fred K. Viren, M.D., suggests that for better precautionary steps deal with the condition generated by a long latency period. That is the oral bisphosphonates can be obstructed to affect adversely for years; only the patients are to be cultivated. Osteoporosis is the most common ailment in America and every year the number is increasing. To cure it, bisphosphonates is recommended. Smaller doses of this drug can lead to some amount of it to remain in the body and play the longer latency periods.
“Half-life” of a drug determines how long would it remain inside the body. Anyone can determine the half-life of a drug online or from the drugs’ listings. The estimated half-life of bisphosphonate is:
Boniva = 4.6-15.3 hr. for Intravenous 2mg after 2 hr. (Intravenous and Oral)
Boniva = 5 – 25.5 hr. for Intravenous 4mg after 2 hr. (Intravenous and Oral)
Bonefos = 13 hr. for Intravenous (Intravenous and Oral)
Aredia = 28 +/- hr. (Intravenous and Oral)
Zometa = 146 hr. (Intravenous)
Actonel = 480 hr. (Oral)
Fosamax = 10 years (Oral)
The use of bisphosphonate shows the symptoms of ONJ causing the alteration or disturbance in bone cycle. It also causes pain, bones become fragile and jaws disfigure. There is no true treatment solely for ONJ. Some of the treatments that are being used to treat the condition are Antibiotics, Jaw reconstructive surgery, reconstruction using bone, surgical debridement, reconstruction using plates, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy etc. but these treatments are not much effective.
Some of the other factors causing ONJ are:
• Considerable pressure is put on the bone during some dental procedures
• Bisphosphonates affects the antiangiogenic that leads to vascular supply
• The duration bisphosphonate stays inside the body
• The duration for how long the patient has been taking bisphosphonate
• The action of mastication muscles
• How strong bisphosphonate doses are?
• The periodontal condition
• The general condition
Vitamin D is under study as it can strengthen bones when prescribed and taken properly and in accurate amounts. Unfortunately, majority of us do not know that we are deficient in Vitamin D. Finding it is not so difficult. You can have a simple blood test and here you go!