The symptoms of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (also known as ONJ, Dead Jaw or Bis-Phossy Jaw) can range from minimal noticeable adverse effects, to very serious dental problems. Jaw necrosisis a painful and potentially disfiguring condition, and may require surgery to remove portions of the jaw bone.
The Osteonecrosis of the Jaw symptoms may include:
- Jaw pain
- Infection of the gums or jaw infection
- Jaw swelling
- Loosening of the teeth
- Tooth ache
- Poor healing gums
- Numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw (“Numb Jaw” or “Heavy Jaw”)
- Exposed jawbone and drainage
Fosamax is an oral bisphosphonate medication for treatment of osteoporosis which has been shown to lead to an increased risk of jaw necrosis symptoms.
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously represented individuals who pursued financial compensation through osteonecrosis of the jaw lawsuits, as a result of the drug makers failure to warn. Settlements have resolved the litigation and no new cases are being reviewed.
DIAGNOSIS OF JAW NECROSIS
Osteonecrosis may be present without any noticable jaw symptoms for many months. The presence of exposed jaw bone inside the mouth may be the only sign or symptom of jaw necrosis which leads to a diagnosis. If the areas of exposed bone in the mouth become infected, or if there is a trauma to the other areas of the mouth as a result of the exposed bone, then the osteonecrosis symptoms may become more noticeable.
Early jaw necrosis symptoms which may be present before the development of exposed bone inside the mouth include:
- sudden change in the health of mouth or gum tissue
- failure of the gums to heal from minor trauma or scrapes
- jaw pain, tooth pain or mouth pain
- burning, tingling or localized pain in the jaw
- loose tooth or teeth falling out
- infection in the soft tissue of the mouth and gums
In many cases, problems and symptoms associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw occur after a dental procedure, such as having teeth removed. However, studies have shown that the majority of these individuals had signs of local infection, including osteomylitis, prior to the dental procedure.
FOSAMAX AS CAUSE OF JAW PAIN
Fosamax, and other bisphosphonate medications, have been shown to cause an interruption of blood flow to the jaw. After use over a long period of time, a side effect of Fosamax is a greatly increased risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw. It could also lead to other forms of bone decay such as osteonecrosis of the knee, osteonecrosis of the hip or osteonecrosis of the shoulders. Long-term use of Fosamax has also been linked to a risk of fractured femurs.
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk are no longer pursuing additional Fosamax lawsuits over the prior failure to warn patients and the medical community about the risks associated with their medication. This page is provided for informational purposes only.