Bone Resorption in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc/Scleroderma)

Dental Involvement


Bone resorption may occur anywhere in systemic scleroderma, but it most commonly occurs in the fingertips and mandible (lower jaw). The bones at the tips of the fingers may be reabsorbed into the body. When bone resorption affects the jaw, it can cause teeth to loosen and may also be associated with microstomia (the mouth becoming smaller.) (Also see What is Scleroderma?, Skeletal Involvement, Hand and Joint Involvement, Osteoporosis, Dental Involvement, and Microstomia)

Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation creating "porous bones." Most cases of osteoporosis occur as an acceleration of this normal aging process. The condition can also be caused by other disease processes or prolonged use of certain medications that result in bone loss. (Also see Osteoporosis)

Bone Resorption of the Mandible (Lower Jaw). Scleroderma can loosen teeth by causing the ligament around the teeth to expand due to collagen deposition. When the ligament expands, the teeth are less supported by bone structure. Dental implants work well in these instances. ISN


Acroosteolysis is a condition with congenital and acquired forms causing recurrent ulcers in the fingers and toes. It is a medical term for the slowly progressive destruction of the distal ends of bones in hands and feet. RightDiagnosis.

Late nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) patterns associated with hand calcinosis and acro-osteolysis in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Acro–osteolysis and calcinosis are independently associated with the late NVC pattern, and particularly with severe capillary loss. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 07/20/2015. (Also see Calcinosis and Nailfold videocapillaroscopy)

Rehabilitation, Therapy Goals for Scleroderma, Acroosteolysis. Acroosteolysis, found in 20–25% of patients with systemic scleroderma, is a disease that causes a destructive lytic change to the distal phalanges, causing the bone to shorten. The Rheumatologist, 05/15/2015.

Acro-osteolysis in systemic sclerosis is associated with digital ischaemia and severe calcinosis. Prospective studies are required to investigate acro-osteolysis as a marker of digital vascular disease progression and of treatment response. Rheumatology (Oxford), 08/25/2012. (Also see: Vascular Involvement and Calcinosis)

Dental Involvement in Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma)

Dental Involvement in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). Scleroderma can cause numerous dental problems when it affects the face and mouth. Skin tightening can cause the mouth to become smaller (microstomia), as well as TMJ and trigeminal neuralgia. ISN.

Bone Resorption
Candida (Fungal)
Dental Amalgam
Dental Fears/Phobias
Dental Implants
General Dentistry
Microstomia (Small Mouth)
Microstomia Stories
Mouth Sores
Periodontal Disease
Photos of Dental Involvement
Scleroderma Dental
Sensitive Teeth
Stories of Scleroderma Dental
Sjogren's Syndrome
Taste and Smell
Tongue and Oral Cancers
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Causes of Bone Resorption

Potassium Bicarbonate (KHCO3) Supplementation Lowers Bone Turnover and Calcium Excretion in Older Men and Women. KHCO3 has favorable effects on bone turnover and calcium excretion, the lower dose appears to be the more effective dose and long-term trials to assess the effect of alkali on bone mass and fracture risk are needed. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 07/28/2015.

Risks and Benefits of Bisphosphonate Therapies. Long-term treatments, which can be associated with long-term adverse effects include an increased risk of atypical femur fractures, osteonecrosis of the jaw, gastrointestinal side effects or atrial fibrillation. PubMed, J Cell Biochem, 06/20/2015.

Osteoimmunology in 2014: Two-faced immunology-from osteogenesis to bone resorption. Recent advances support the view of the immune system as a central mechanism which can regulate bone homeostasis, regeneration and destruction. PubMed, Nat Rev Rheumatol, 2015 Feb;11(2):74-6.

Mechanisms of Bone Resorption in Periodontitis. Bone resorption via osteoclasts and bone formation via osteoblasts are coupled, and their dysregulation is associated with numerous diseases of the skeletal system. Journal of Immunology Research, 12/13/2014. (Also see Periodontal Disease)

Vitamin D, Parathyroid Hormone, and Acroosteolysis in Systemic Sclerosis. Low levels of vitamin D may reflect silent malabsorption and might be a risk factor for secondary hyperparathyroidism and bone resorption. Y. Braun-Moscovici. J Rheumatol. [2008]. (Also see Vitamin D Deficiency and Calcinosis)


Bone Repair With Stem Cells. Repairing bone is important to people who suffer bone trauma or experience a loss of bone from disease and one of the ways in which researchers want to help is by finding uses for stem cells in bone repair. Explore StemCells, 01/18/2015.

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