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. Answers.com. (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.
Case Report: Acro–osteolysis and calcinosis in patient with scleroderma. We present a unique case of progressive acro–osteolysis of the distal phalanges and articular calcifications in a patient with scleroderma. PubMed, Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. (Also see Calcinosis)
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.
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.
Microstomia (Small Mouth)
Photos of Dental Involvement
Stories of Scleroderma Dental
Taste and Smell
Tongue and Oral Cancers
Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)
Anti–HMGB1 neutralizing antibody attenuates periodontal inflammation and bone resorption in a murine periodontitis model. These findings indicate that high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is secreted in response to inflammatory stimuli caused by periodontal infection, which is crucial for the initiation of periodontitis. PubMed, Infect Immun, 03/12/2018. (Also see Periodontal Disease)
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.
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.
Many thanks to our recent donors, Jack and Elizabeth Lewis, Chris Dokter, Margaret Roof, Network for Good, PayPal Charitable Giving Fund, United Way Snohomish and Arnold Slotkin. See ISN News for more donors. Click Here to Donate.
TOLL FREE HOTLINE, U.S. and Canada: 1-800-564-7099
Ask for our Free Info Packet by email or postal mail!
SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses.
We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to: