Dental x-rays could be first step in osteoporosis screening

December 01, 2004

Panoramic dental x-rays can be used to help identify postmenopausal women with low skeletal bone mineral density (BMD), meaning that screening for spinal osteoporosis could begin in the dentist's office a new study shows.

The study included 316 postmenopausal women who had no symptoms of osteoporosis. The women were divided into two groups: 159 had no history of hysterectomy, oophorectomy or estrogen use, the remaining 157 had one or more of these histories. All had panoramic dental x-rays, and the cortical shape and width of the jaw were estimated on the x-rays. "Women with eroded cortical shape need to be referred for further BMD testing," said Akira Taguchi, DDS, PhD, department of oral and maxillofacial radiology at Hiroshima University Hospital in Japan.

Currently, questionnaires are widely used as the first step in determining which women need to have further BMD testing. This study found that dental x-rays were just as sensitive as questionnaires in identifying those women. Dental x-rays, looking at cortical shape, were 87% sensitive in identifying women with spinal osteoporosis in the group with no history of hysterectomy, oophorectomy or estrogen use and 80% sensitive for the other group. The questionnaire was found to have an 87% sensitivity rate for the women with no history and 72% for those with the history of hysterectomy, oophorectomy or estrogen use, Dr. Taguchi said.

Dr. Taguchi noted that dental x-rays are not as specific as questionnaires, meaning that dental x-rays indicate disease when there isn't any and can indicate there isn't any disease and there is. However, since dental x-rays are already being done (about 15 million a year in the U.S.) they can be reviewed just as a first step in determining which women need additional testing, he said.

"The response rate for questionnaires may be relatively low if postmenopausal women have little information or no interest regarding osteoporosis," Dr. Taguchi said. On the other hand, "because dental panoramic x-rays are taken for the diagnosis of conditions affecting the teeth and jaws in clinical practice worldwide, the dentist could also look at the mandibular cortical shape and width and refer the appropriate women for further BMD testing," he said.
-end-
The study appeared in the December 2004 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

For Release: December 1, 2004
A PDF of the full study is available to reporters.

American College of Radiology

Related Osteoporosis Articles from Brightsurf:

New opportunities for detecting osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be detected through low dose computed tomography (LDCT) imaging tests performed for lung cancer screening or other purposes.

Oxytocin can help prevent osteoporosis
In a laboratory experiment with rats, Brazilian researchers succeeded in reversing natural processes associated with aging that lead to loss of bone density and strength.

New strategy against osteoporosis
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

New review on management of osteoporosis in premenopausal women
An IOF and ECTS Working Group have published an updated review of literature published after 2017 on premenopausal osteoporosis.

Cardiac CT can double as osteoporosis test
Cardiac CT exams performed to assess heart health also provide an effective way to screen for osteoporosis, potentially speeding treatment to the previously undiagnosed, according to a new study.

Osteoporosis treatment may also protect against pneumonia
A recent study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-BPs) such as alendronate, which are widely used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis, are linked with lower risks of pneumonia and of dying from pneumonia.

New pharmaceutical target reverses osteoporosis in mice
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have discovered that an adenosine receptor called A2B can be pharmaceutically activated to reverse bone degradation caused by osteoporosis in mouse models of the disease.

A link between mitochondrial damage and osteoporosis
In healthy people, a tightly controlled process balances out the activity of osteoblasts, which build bone, and osteoclasts, which break it down.

Many stroke patients not screened for osteoporosis, despite known risks
Many stroke survivors have an increased risk of osteoporosis, falls or breaks when compared to healthy people.

Many postmenopausal women do not receive treatment for osteoporosis
The benefits of treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women outweigh the perceived risks, according to a Clinical Practice Guideline issued today by the Endocrine Society.

Read More: Osteoporosis News and Osteoporosis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.