A bone to chew

February 20, 1998

Dentists could act as a reliable screen for women at high risk from osteoporosis, Jean Wactawski-Wende of the State University of New York-Buffalo school of medicine and dental medicine, told the AAAS. A sample of more than 2,500 post-menopausal women showed those with a low bone density, associated with osteoporosis and weak bones, experienced on average double the amount of tooth loss as those with average bone density. This was independent of age, calcium intake, smoking history, diabetes and race. "It makes perfect sense," she said. "The tooth is in bone."

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