As we get older, our risk for gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral health problems can increase. For women the problem is exacerbated by menopause, which changes the hormone balance in their bodies.
The consequences of menopause for oral health can be serious. It can significantly increase the risk of osteoporosis in the jawbone. It can also increase the risk of gum disease, receding gums, and tooth loss. Now new research suggests that osteoporosis treatment can help protect women from gum disease as they get older.
Comparing Gum Disease in Treated and Untreated Women
For this study published in the journal Menopause, researchers looked at the gum disease rates of 492 postmenopausal women. Most of these women (379) didn’t receive osteoporosis treatments. The 113 women who did receive osteoporosis treatment received nutrition supplements and one of two systemic hormone treatments: estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin. They received treatment for at least six months before they were evaluated.
Overall, women receiving treatment had reduced signs of gum disease: shorter probing depth,less loss of attachment, and less gum bleeding. Women were considered to have severe periodontitis (gum disease) if they had attachment loss of at least 6 mm (about ¼ inch) and at least one site with a probe depth of at least 5 mm. The incidence of severe gum disease was much lower in women receiving treatment: about 44% lower!
The reduced risk for severe gum disease was after adjustments for smoking, age, family income, and regular dental visits.
Researchers also recorded the tooth health in both groups through the number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT), but there was no difference between the groups.
Preventing and Treating Receding Gums
Prevention is the best way to help your gums stay healthy and fit. Regular visits to the dentist and proper oral hygiene (including flossing) are vital to ensuring your gums stay healthy. And, it seems, for postmenopausal women, it might be important to consider osteoporosis treatment that includes some form of hormone replacement.
However, when prevention fails to protect gums from receding, we offer gum rejuvenation that can help men and women of all ages to restore a youthful gum position. This will cover unsightly cementum and protect your teeth from root cavities. It will also help treat the tooth sensitivity that comes with receding gums.