A new study of postmenopausal women has shown that fracture risk might be a sign of increased risk of receding gums.
Menopausal Changes Affect Bones and Gums
Researchers have long been interested in the way that menopause leads to physiological changes that can have an adverse impact on different systems in the body. With decreasing levels of estrogen, women’s bodies begin to deposit less bone, resulting in osteoporosis–low-density bones. These can affect, among other things, dental implants.
Researchers are only just beginning to understand how menopause affects a woman’s risk of gum disease. Gum disease is the most common cause of receding gums, and prevention and treatment of it is vital to preserving attractive gums.
To see whether gum disease risk was tied to fracture risk, researchers looked at 191 women who went through menopause within the last ten years, didn’t smoke, and weren’t on diabetes or osteoporosis medication. The women were between the ages of 51 and 80. Women were assessed for osteoporosis using a tool called FRAX (Fracture Assessment Risk Tool) that uses height, weight, previous fractures, smoking habits, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other factors. The women were also then given a periodontal checkup, including the use of dental probes, and the two scores were compared. High FRAX scores correlated with signs of gum disease.
Doctors Should Refer Women to Dentists
Researchers said that doctors using the FRAX tool to assess postmenopausal women’s fracture risk should also be using it to refer women to dentists to prevent receding gums and tooth loss. They also note that this is an important reminder that oral health is linked to a woman’s overall health.
Correcting Gum Recession
Unfortunately, gum disease isn’t always detected soon enough to prevent gum recession. If you have receding gums and would like to learn about nonsurgical gum rejuvenation, please call 310-275-5325 in Beverly Hills or (949) 551-5902 in Orange County.