What is osteonecrosis of the jaw?

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)is a rare condition that involves the loss, or breakdown, of the jaw bone. ONJ has been reported in patients with cancer receiving treatment, including bisphosphonates, chemotherapy, and/or corticosteroids. The majority of reported cases have been associated with dental procedures such as tooth extraction. A dental examination with appropriate preventive dentistry should be considered prior to treatment with bisphosphonates in patients with concomitant risk factors. While on treatment, these patients should avoid, if possible, invasive dental procedures. No data are available as to whether discontinuation of bisphosphonate therapy reduces the risk of ONJ in patients requiring dental procedures.