ONJ/Dead Jaw Information

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Osteonecrosis of the Jaw also known as ONJ/Dead Jaw Syndrome is a grievous condition that can cause a number of serious health consequences, including a failure of the jaw to heal properly after surgery.  Recent ONJ/Dead Jaw information links the disorder to the use of drugs called bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, Aredia, and Zometa. 

These drugs inhibit bone resorption, a process that allows the body to break down the bones for minerals.  ONJ can make the jaw feel heavy and numb, but can also cause serious dental complications such as loose and painful teeth, swollen gums, and abscesses in the jaw. Many people also develop dangerous infections that can result in the death of large portions of the jaw, which require surgery to remove.

News Stories on Fosamax

Aredia (pamidronate disodium) was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1991 and is used to treat hypercalcemia, Paget's disease, and some forms of cancer such as multiple myeloma.  It works by preventing bone resorption, or the process by which certain cells break down bone to release minerals, that some cancers can cause.  For almost 15 years it was a popular treatment for a number of conditions, but by 2005, popular and medical opinion of the entire class of bisphosphonate drugs began to change. 

Due to mounting evidence of serious bone-related complications first relayed in 2004, Novartis and the FDA advised dental healthcare professionals on May 18, 2005 about the potential link between Aredia and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).  The alert informed dentists that patients undergoing Aredia treatment should avoid invasive dental procedures and that they should be aware of the primary symptoms of ONJ.

According to reports gathered by officials at Novartis, 875 developed Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) between December 2002 and 2005.  Most of these patients were receiving chemotherapy and steroid treatments, two conditions that can predispose the development of ONJ.  Unfortunately, Aredia can increase the number of complications that can arise from even simple procedures, including loose teeth, swollen gums, or oral tissue that will simply not heal.

Tooth Extraction and ONJ/Dead Jaw Onset

In 2005, the drug maker Merck informed doctors and dental healthcare professionals of the potential dangers of routine dental work for people undergoing Fosamax treatment.  Several studies have linked Fosamax with problems involved in Tooth Extraction and Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ/Dead Jaw Onset).  Generally when a tooth is pulled, the bones of the jaw begin to rebuild, filling in the gap and removing any dead tissue.  Osteonecrosis of the Jaw can interfere with the natural way the mouth and gums heal after such common procedures because the condition inhibits the way in which bones rebuild themselves.  Dentists need to be aware of the potential dire consequences that Fosamax use may have on their patients.  Early stages of ONJ include painful and loose teeth, swollen gums, and heavy or numb jaws.

Multiple Myeloma chemotherapy and ONJ/Dead Jaw

This year nearly 16,000 people will develop Multiple Myeloma, a rare type of cancer that adversely affects plasma cells, the cells of the blood that produce disease-fighting antibodies.  These diseased cells attach themselves to bone marrow in the large bones throughout the body, where over time they develop into tumors so large that they can fracture and shatter the bone surrounding the marrow. 

Multiple Myeloma is a particularly devastating cancer because it can affect a number of different bodily systems simultaneously.  Multiple Myeloma chemotherapy and ONJ/Dead Jaw were first linked together when doctors used drugs such as Fosamax, Aredia, and Zometa to help prevent excess bone loss and destruction during the treatment phase of the cancer.  Unfortunately, these drugs often lead to terrible side effects such as ONJ, forcing many doctors to reconsider the use of bisphosphonates during chemotherapy.

Women affected by ONJ/Dead Jaw more than Men?

Women are more likely to suffer from Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) because more women will suffer from osteoporosis or other bone-related conditions and thus will be prescribed the drugs that have been linked to this painful and debilitating condition.  Since many of the medications that prevent or manage osteoporosis have been associated with ONJ or osteonecrosis of the jaw, experts believe that women affected by ONJ/Dead Jaw more than men are at greater risk.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw ( ONJ) Dead Jaw Medical Findings and Reports

Women are more likely to suffer from Osteonecrosis of the Jaw because more women will suffer from osteoporosis or other bone-related conditions and thus will be prescribed the drugs that have been linked to this painful and debilitating condition.  Since many of the medications that prevent or manage osteoporosis have been associated with ONJ or osteonecrosis of the jaw, experts believe that women affected by ONJ/Dead Jaw more than men are at greater risk.

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Osteonecrosis of the Jaw also called ONJ dead jaw information, facts about other dangerous Fosamax side effects. Updated 10/22/2010