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What is osteonecrosis of the jaw (also known as ONJ)? What are the symptoms of it? What can you do to prevent it? Keep reading for the answers to these questions and more.

What Is Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw?

This condition develops because antiresorptive agents (which are commonly used as osteoporosis medication) can cause the jaw bone to deteriorate. Though ONJ is rare, it is very serious. Those who are older, have gum disease, smoke, or have taken antiresorptive agents for a long time all have a higher risk of developing ONJ.

Symptoms Of Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw

How can you tell if you have developed ONJ? Here are some of the symptoms that can develop in your mouth:

  • Exposed jaw bone
  • Swelling, pain, or infection in the jaw or gums
  • A feeling of heaviness or numbness in the jaw
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that are not healing
  • Drainage

Preventing Osteonecrosis Of The Jaw

ONJ often develops after a dental procedure, so it is important to see your dentist for 6 month check-ups so they can make sure your mouth stays continuously healthy. If you do need a dental procedure, let your dentist know that you take antiresorptive agents.