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Journal of Osteoporosis
Volume 2011, Article ID 147689, 11 pages
Review Article

The Facial Skeleton in Patients with Osteoporosis: A Field for Disease Signs and Treatment Complications

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
2Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
3Department of Endocrinology, 424 Military Hospital, Thessaloniki 56429, Greece

Received 27 November 2010; Revised 31 December 2010; Accepted 15 January 2011

Academic Editor: Joonas Sirola

Copyright © 2011 Athanassios Kyrgidis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Osteoporosis affects all bones, including those of the facial skeleton. To date the facial bones have not drawn much attention due to the minimal probability of morbid fractures. Hearing and dentition loss due to osteoporosis has been reported. New research findings suggest that radiologic examination of the facial skeleton can be a cost-effective adjunct to complement the early diagnosis and the follow up of osteoporosis patients. Bone-mass preservation treatments have been associated with osteomyelitis of the jawbones, a condition commonly described as osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ). The facial skeleton, where alimentary tract mucosa attaches directly to periosteum and teeth which lie in their sockets of alveolar bone, is an area unique for the early detection of osteoporosis but also for the prevention of treatment-associated complications. We review facial bone involvement in patients with osteoporosis and we present data that make the multidisciplinary approach of these patients more appealing for both practitioners and dentists. With regard to ONJ, a tabular summary with currently available evidence is provided to facilitate multidisciplinary practice coordination for the treatment of patients receiving bisphosphonates.