Osteonecrosis of the jaw
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a severe bone disease (osteonecrosis) that affects the jaws (the maxilla and the mandible). Various forms of ONJ have been described over the last 160 years, and a number of causes have been suggested in the literature.Osteonecrosis of the jaw associated with bisphosphonate therapy, which is required by some cancer treatment regimens, has been identified and defined as a pathological entity (bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw) since 2003. The possible risk from lower oral doses of bisphosphonates, taken by patients to prevent or treat osteoporosis, remains uncertain.Treatment options have been explored; however, severe cases of ONJ still require surgical removal of the affected bone. A thorough history and assessment of pre-existing systemic problems and possible sites of dental infection are required to help prevent the condition, especially if bisphosphonate therapy is considered.