Osteonecrosis of the jaw is a severe form of damage to the jawbone, which is extremely painful and potentially disfiguring. It is an irreversible condition in which the patient’s jaw bone decays and dies.
Also be referred to as ONJ, Jaw Necrosis, Dead Jaw, Bis-Phossy Jaw or Phossy Jaw, the condition is caused by insufficient blood flow to jaw, which could be a side effect of certain bisphosphonate medications. Side effects of Fosamax have been linked to a risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw and lawsuits are being pursued against the drug’s manufacturer for failing to adequately warn about the problems.
The Osteonecrosis of the Jaw lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously pursued cases for individuals who have experienced the jaw problems after using Fosamax. Following osteonecrosis of the jaw settlements that resolved the litigation, new cases are no longer being reviewed.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF JAW NECROSIS
Osteonecrosis of the jaw is often associated with a jaw infection and portions of the jawbone may become exposed inside the mouth. Surgery may be required to remove parts of the jawbone.
For many months there may be no noticeable signs or symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw. The presence of exposed jaw bone inside the mouth may be the only evidence which leads to a diagnosis.
Symptoms usually become more noticeable only when these areas of exposed bone become infected, or when there is a trauma to other areas of the mouth as a result of the exposed bone. However, osteonecrosis of the jaw can also become symptomatic spontaneously.
For individuals with osteonecrosis of the jaw, it often results in significant weight loss due to difficulty eating, jaw pain or loose teeth.
>>INFORMATION: Osteonecrosis Symptoms
JAW PAIN AND JAW DETERIORATION AFTER DENTAL WORK
Once symptoms of Dead Jaw have appeared, there is no effective treatment for jaw osteonecrosis, other than taking steps to avoid aggravation of the condition. Dental procedures and oral surgery are often associated with the onset of symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw and should be avoided at all costs. Minor trauma, such as tooth extraction, often results in the bone tissue of the jaw failing to heal properly, causing the jawbone to become exposed.
>>INFORMATION: Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Treatment
Studies have shown that osteonecrosis of the jaw may be caused as a side effect of Fosamax and other bisphosphonate medications. Therefore, if jaw pain is experienced after taking Fosamax, an oral surgeon should be consulted before having any dental work done.
Fosamax lawsuits are no longer being investigated against the manufacturers for failing to warn of this side effect.
FOSAMAX CAUSING OSTEONECROSIS OF THE JAW
Jaw osteonecrosis has traditionally been a relatively rare occurrence. However, over the past few years dentists and oral surgeons have seen an increased occurrence of jaw death. Medical studies have shown that the use of bisphosphonate medications, such as the osteoporosis drug Fosamax, can cause an increased risk of jaw necrosis as a side effect.
The Fosamax side effect resulting in jaw necrosis usually involves cases of mandibular osteonecrosis, and to a lesser extent maxillary osteonecrosis. The popular osteoporosis medication has been shown to cause an interruption of blood flow to the jaw, resulting in deterioration and death of the jaw bone. After prolonged use of Fosamax, there is a significantly increased chance of jawbone death and permanent injury. Studies have also indicated that other forms of bone decay could be caused by Fosamax, including osteonecrois of the hip, knee and shoulder.
Additional cases are no longer being reviewed against the makers of Fosamax for individuals diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw. This page is provided for informational purposes only.