Osteonecrosis of the jaws. A severe complication to anti-resorptive treatment

Osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ), in layman’s terms “dead bone” or “dead jaw”, is a severe complication to anti-resorptive treatment with bisphosphonate, denosumab, and certain chemotherapeutic drugs. These drugs are used against osteoporosis and various malignant conditions (breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma) with metastases in the skeleton. ONJ can cause pain, loss of teeth and parts of the jaws, and loss of masticatory function. Thus, ONJ is a severe cancer related complication, or ostoporosis treatment complication. ONJ was first reported in 2003, and during the last 10 year, a large number of cases have been reported worldwide.