Los Angeles Times Health
By Linda Marsa, Special to The Times
April 3, 2006
Rare instances of jaw decay are being linked to medicines used to prevent bone loss.
Sue Piervin never suspected the pills she took to strengthen her bones could severely damage her jaw. Twelve years ago, a routine X-ray revealed her bones were thinning, so her doctor prescribed a drug to help stop the erosion of bone density. Then, in 1999, Piervin developed a painful bone spur in her jaw that had decayed to such an extent that it had to be surgically removed.
At the time, doctors were puzzled. But when she had a recurrence last year, they had a pretty good idea what was causing the trouble: Fosamax, the medication she was taking to prevent bone loss.