Osteonecrosis of the jaw can occur after tooth extraction, injury, radiation therapy, or for no apparent reason.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw has occurred in some people taking high doses of bisphosphonate drugs intravenously, particularly if they have cancer or undergo oral surgery.
To help prevent osteonecrosis of the jaw, any necessary oral surgery should be done whenever possible before a person takes bisphosphonates.
Treatment is best done by an experienced oral surgeon.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw may occur spontaneously or after tooth extraction Osteonecrosis of the jaw Complications after a dental procedure that include swelling and pain, dry socket, osteomyelitis, bleeding, and osteonecrosis of the jaw comprise another set of urgent dental problems that require... read more or trauma. (Radiation therapy to the head and neck Side effects of treatment Mouth and throat cancers are cancers that originate on the lips, the roof, sides, or floor of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, or back of the throat. Mouth and throat cancers may look like open sores... read more can cause a similar disorder called osteoradionecrosis). Sometimes, a bone infection (osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is a bone infection usually caused by bacteria, mycobacteria, or fungi. Bacteria, mycobacteria, or fungi can infect bones by spreading through the bloodstream or, more often, by... read more ) in the jaw is misdiagnosed as osteonecrosis of the jaw.
Osteonecrosis of the jaw has rarely been noticed in some people who have received high doses of bisphosphonates by vein, particularly if they have cancer or undergo oral surgery while receiving the drugs. Osteonecrosis of the jaw has not been linked with the routine use of bisphosphonates taken by mouth as treatment for osteoporosis Drugs Osteoporosis is a condition in which a decrease in the density of bones weakens the bones, making breaks (fractures) likely. Aging, estrogen deficiency, low vitamin D or calcium intake, and... read more . Thus, people should still use oral bisphosphonates as prescribed. However, when possible, any necessary oral surgery should be done before use of bisphosphonates is begun. People should also continue good oral hygiene while taking bisphosphonates.
Because osteonecrosis of the jaw is challenging to treat, an oral surgeon with experience treating it should be consulted. Treatment of osteonecrosis of the jaw typically involves scraping away some of the damaged bone, taking antibiotics by mouth, and using mouth rinses. After treatment, people should follow up with the oral surgeon who will evaluate healing and ensure the area is being kept clean with proper oral hygiene.
Removing the whole affected area with surgery may worsen the condition and is not the first choice of treatment.