You may think of your bones as one of the strongest parts of your body. They make up your skeleton and provide structure and support to your body. Compared to other tissues and muscles, bones may seem hard and lifeless.

However, your bones are living tissues with blood supply and a definite development, growth, and aging process. During your lifetime, your body constantly breaks down old bone tissue and forms new bone tissue. 

When your body is younger (up until your 30s), it has the ability to make new bone tissue faster than it breaks down old bone tissue. 

As you get older, this process slows down, and old bone tissue tends to break down faster than new bone tissue is created. This leads to bone loss. 

Bone loss can lead to low bone density, weak bones, and eventually osteoporosis (a condition in which your bones become porous, brittle, and fragile). Early bone loss is usually undetectable, and you may not know you have weak bones unless you suffer from a fracture. 

However, there are some signs that can indicate that your bone health may be deteriorating. Read on to find out what these signs are. 

Signs of Deteriorating Bone Health

1. Receding Gums

The jawbone supports your teeth and if you are going through bone loss, your gums start receding. Moreover, it can also lead to loss of teeth. 

If you are ageing and going through these symptoms, you might need to see a dentist and also show the results of the dental X-rays to an orthopaedic doctor.

2. Brittle Nails

Weak and brittle nails (that chip and break easily) may be a sign of poor bone health. If you have low levels of collagen (a strengthening protein) in your nails, you may not have enough collagen in your bones either. 

Weak nails or vertical nail ridges may also indicate that your body lacks calcium, which is integral to bone health.

3. Weakening Grip

Just like when you are unwell and your grip feels loose, bone loss or deterioration could have the same effect on your grip strength. 

If you have noticed instances like difficulty in opening jar lids and pulling heavy doors, it may be a sign of low bone health. A weak grip may also increase your chances of falls and bone fractures. 

Though ageing and related bone loss cannot be controlled, there are steps you can take to prevent or slow bone loss. These steps include exercising, eating a diet high in calcium, getting enough vitamin D, and staying away from smoking and alcohol use. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.