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Reducing tooth and gum diseases in postmenopausal women

Oestrogen therapy has already been credited with helping women manage an array of menopause-related issues, including reducing hot flushes, improving heart health and bone density, and maintaining levels of sexual satisfaction. This suggests that the same oestrogen therapy used to treat osteoporosis can actually lead to healthier teeth and gums. 

As estrogen levels fall during menopause, women become more vulnerable to numerous health issues, including loss of bone mineral density which can lead to osteoporosis. Around the same time, changes in oral health also are common as teeth and gums become more susceptible to disease, which can lead to inflammation, pain, bleeding, and eventually loose or missing teeth.

In the Menopause article "Association between osteoporosis treatment and severe periodontitis in postmenopausal women," 492 postmenopausal Brazilian women aged 50 to 87 years, 113 in osteoporosis treatment and 379 not treated, were evaluated to determine whether osteoporosis treatment could help increase the bone mineral density in their jaws and, subsequently, improve overall oral health.

The study found that the rate of occurrence of severe periodontitis was 44% lower in the postmenopausal osteoporosis-treatment group than in the untreated group. Treatment consisted of systemic estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplements, for a minimum of six months.

Reference

Passos-Soares JS1, Vianna MI, Gomes-Filho IS, Cruz SS, Barreto ML, Adan LF, Rösing CK, Trindade SC, Cerqueira EM, Scannapieco FA. Association between osteoporosis treatment and severe periodontitis in postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2017 Feb 20. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000830. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Content updated 27 February 2017

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