Osteoporosis and jawbones in women
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Osteoporosis is a major health problem affecting one in three women over the age of 50 and may not be detected until fractures occur. Since osteoporotic fractures are a health burden worldwide, identifying subjects with a high risk of osteoporosis and preventing osteoporosis-related mortality and morbidity are a very important health strategy. Women show an estrogen-related bone loss starting at menopause, predominantly occurring in trabecular bone. Diagnosis of osteoporosis is usually based on the bone mineral density measurement, but this is not a practical and economical technique for early detection. Therefore, investigators are interested in the possibility of detecting osteoporosis from the panoramic radiographs. Mandibular cortical bone undergoes resorptive activity in osteoporotic patients, leading to a decreased thickness and more porous inferior border. Therefore, studies have demonstrated the usefulness of cortical width and shape, determined from panoramic radiographs, in identifying elderly individuals with undetected osteoporosis, especially postmenopausal women. In conclusion, postmenopausal women with C3 category, Mental Index (MI) < 3 mm, and panoramic mandibular index (PMI) < 0.3 may be considered for further osteoporosis investigation.