Researchers link menopause to periodontal disease

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  Postmenopausal bone loss can predispose a patient to early gum disease.

Posted: March 10, 2015

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and Case/Cleveland Clinic Postmenopausal Health Collaboration have found a link between menopause and periodontal disease, and published their study last month in the journal Menopause.

Estrogen loss plays role in gum decay
Researchers used the World Health Organization's Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) to measure the connection between oral health and the physical condition of bone loss, focusing specifically on postmenopausal bone deterioration caused by a loss of estrogen. 

Controlling for other factors, the research team used a sample of 191 postmenopausal women between ages 51 and 80, reported Science Daily. All women who participated in the study were nonsmokers not taking medications for bone loss or hormonal replacement.

The research team found that a dip in estrogen levels not only affects bone metabolism, but can also inflame the oral cavity, prompting the onset of gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into full-fledged gum disease and eventually result in tooth loss. 

Further periodontal screening for post-menopausal women
€‹The study's conclusions make a strong case for further periodontal disease screening in postmenopausal women whose FRAX scores predispose them to greater risk of fracture. 

While experts differ in opinion on whether gingivitis can be reversed, they agree that it can definitely be controlled when caught early. Identifying risk factors, such as menopause, can help in the fight against periodontal disease.

Doctor Leena Palomo, associate professor of periodontics and director of the Doctor of Dental Medicine Periodontics program at Case Western said in a statement, "More investigations are needed, but the FRAX Tool score can potentially be used as a way to find women at risk for gum disease."

Empowered with this new knowledge, dental clinicians can now offer more precise care to patients whose health history includes postmenopausal bone loss. It's one more part of a holistic picture that connects oral health to complete well-being.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only.  Always consult your health care professional before beginning any new therapy.

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