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Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws. A severe side effect of bisphosphonate therapy.

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  • 1Department of Dentistry, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. janovani@centrum.cz

Abstract

Bisphosphonates (BP) are potent inhibitors of bone resorption used mainly in the treatment of metastatic bone disease and osteoporosis. By inhibiting bone resorption, they prevent complications as pathological fracture, pain, tumor-induced hypercalcemia. Even though patient's benefit of BP therapy is huge, various side effects may develop. Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (BRONJ) is among the most serious ones. Oncologic patients receiving high doses of BP intravenously are at high risk of BRONJ development. BPs impair bone turnover leading to compromised bone healing which may result in the exposure of necrotic bone in the oral cavity frequently following tooth extraction or trauma of the oral mucosa. Frank bone exposure may be complicated by secondary infection leading to osteomyelitis development with various symptoms and radiological findings. In the management of BRONJ, conservative therapy aiming to reduce the symptoms plays the main role. In patients with extensive bone involvement resective surgery may lead to complete recovery, provided that the procedure is correctly indicated. Since the treatment of BRONJ is difficult, prevention is the main goal. Therefore in high risk patients dental preventive measures should be taken prior to bisphosphonate administration. This requires adequate communication between the prescribing physician, the patient and the dentist.

PMID:
23297518
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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