Osteoporosis (osteoporosis), is a disease that weakens the bones from the inside. The result is “porous”, weak bones that are so decalcified and brittle that they break easily. The link between osteoporosis and periodontitis has been difficult to prove due to many similar associated factors such as smoking, age, medication and systemic diseases, however, there is evidence that osteoporosis exacerbates periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the bone around the teeth to slowly disappear. If you also have osteoporosis and the bone is already weak, the bone will disappear more easily.

Primary osteoporosis

Primary osteoporosis generally results in loss of bone mass in postmenopausal women (menopause). The decreased estrogen production causes the bone formation to be reduced and the dynamic bone remodeling (building up) is pushed in a direction of bone resorption (disappearance).  Over time, the risk of traumatic bone fractures in wrists / hips and collapse of the spine increases. Decreased mineral density is seen in the skeleton. The jaws may be affected by the decreased density, which may have an effect on bone degradation in periodontitis.

  • One mechanism may be that the bone around the teeth is more easily resorbed (disappears) by inflammatory action than normal bone, as it is not as dense and strong as healthy bone
  • Another factor is that decreased estrogen levels also cause a decreased anti-inflammatory effect
  • A genetic component
  • Physical inactivity, low body weight, smoking, inadequate calcium intake or lack of sunlight can be significant 

Secondary osteoporosis 

This type of osteoporosis occurs as a result of medical conditions such as chronic kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis), cancers (multiple myelomas), or as a result of long-term medication with corticosteroids. The decreased bone density means, as with primary osteoporosis, that bone loss in periodontitis can go faster.


En stor europæisk undersøgelse har vist at det gennemsnitlige antal tænder hos kvinder med osteoporose var 3,3 mindre end hos andre kvinder (tallene var justeret for alder og rygning) JCP 2009.