Symptoms of “dead jaw” include irregular sore with exposed bone, pain or swelling in the infected jaw, infection, possibly with pus, altered sensation – numbness or a heavy sensation.
The highest risk factors for ONJ are:
1) taking bisphosphonates, especially in IV form.
2) concurrent use of steroids.
3) previous history of cancer, osteoprorsis or Paget’s disease.
4) traumatic dental procedure, such as tooth extraction or dental implants.
Side effects seen from bone-building drugs.
More than 2,400 U.S. residents taking bisphosphonate drugs to build their bones have suffered bone damage to their jaws since 2001, a report said.
Aside from the 2,400, who were taking mainly the more potent injected form of bisphosphonates, 120 people taking the oral form of the drugs also have reported debilitating problems.
Merck & Co., which faces more than 16,000 lawsuits over its Vioxx painkiller, is accused of misrepresenting the safety of its osteoporosis drug Fosamax by withholding warnings that it could kill jawbone tissue.