Two centuries later, phosphorus necrosis has returned as a drug side effect among osteoporosis and bone cancer patients treated with bisphosphonates. Reported first in 2003, the disease is now known as bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw (BONJ).
In our bodies, white phosphorus (match ingredients) reacts with water to form pyrophosphate (Equation 1), which when combining with carbonic acid (Equation 2) and amino acid, for instance lysine (Equation 3), becomes bisphosphonates. The past and present diseases are therefore related to the same chemical and are indeed the same disease, displaying identical clinical features.
- Marx, Robert E. 2008. “Uncovering the Cause of ‘Phossy Jaw’ Circa 1858 to 1906: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Closed Case Files-case Closed.” Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Official Journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons 66 (11) (November): 2356–2363.
- Marx, Robert E. 2003. “Pamidronate (Aredia) and Zoledronate (Zometa) Induced Avascular Necrosis of the Jaws: a Growing Epidemic.” Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Official Journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons 61 (9) (September): 1115–1117.