Hormone Replacement Therapy Helps Improve Dental Health in Postmenopausal Women
Menopause in women is often accompanied by health problems, with reduced bone density being most common. For some women the loss of bone density occurs much faster eventually resulting in osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.
Estrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment given to postmenopausal women to treat osteoporosis by improving bone density. Other benefits of estrogen therapy are improving sexual satisfaction, reducing hot flushes, and improving heart health.
The decreasing estrogen levels during menopause have also been found to cause tooth and gum problems that include inflammation of the gums, bleeding gums, pain and tooth loss
The study of 492 postmenopausal women in Brazil who were between the ages of 50 and 87 found that the occurrence of severe gum disease was decreased by about 44 percent in the group that was taking estrogen — compared to the group that was not placed on estrogen therapy.
The executive director of the North American Menopause Society, Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, reports that osteoporosis can occur throughout the body including the jaws where it will lead to the increased risk of periodontal diseases.
The findings of the study have introduced the possibility of one day using estrogen hormone replacement therapy to treat and prevent the worsening dental issues such as gum disease and tooth loss. Already, estrogen therapy has been proven to be effective in the prevention of bone loss.
- Osteoporosis occurs throughout the entire skeleton, even in the jaws which increases the risk of gum disease.
- Decreasing estrogen levels during menopause is associated with gum inflammation, pain and tooth loss.
- Estrogen hormone replacement therapy helped improve dental health with a 44 percent reduction in occurrence of gum disease.
This study demonstrates that estrogen therapy, Already known to be effective in preventing bone density loss, may also be effective in preventing the worsening of and gum disease resultant tooth loss.
All postmenopausal women suffering from low estrogen levels or who have been placed on biphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis are recommended to take good dental care measures to ensure that they have a healthy lifestyle.
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