Bone-loss During Menopause May Help Predict Gum Disease
Studies have shown that women are more prone to poor gum health than men. Hormonal fluctuations can impact the health of your gums by causing gum irritation that may lead to gum disease. The fluctuations experienced during menopause also increase the risk of developing gum disease. A recent study found that bone-loss occurring during menopause, might help to predict the development of gum disease.
Predicting Gum Disease With Bone-Loss
Bone-loss is among the many changes that occur during menopause. Women experience a drastic spike in bone-loss during the onset of menopause as estrogen levels drop. Low estrogen levels can also cause inflammatory conditions in the mouth, which may lead to the development of gum disease if left untreated. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and Case/Cleveland Clinic Postmenopausal Health Collaboration (CCCPOHC) conducted a recent study to find out if a relationship existed between bone-loss and gum disease.
They studied a sample of 191 women from the CCCPOHC database between the ages of 51 and 80 who started menopause within the last 10 years. To eliminate other risk factors of gum disease, these women did not smoke, take bone-loss or diabetes medication, or undergo hormone replacement therapy. Researchers used a Fracture Assessment Risk Tool (known as FRAX) to assess bone density. A high FRAX score indicates that a person is at a higher risk for bone-fractures due to low bone density.
Participants also went through periodontal check-ups to assess gum health. Women with high FRAX scores showed the strongest signs for gum disease. Based on their results, bone-loss could be a reliable indicator for gum disease in women. Future studies are needed to confirm this relationship.
Early Detection is Best
Gum disease is an irreversible condition that worsens over time. Women entering menopause should be especially proactive about protecting their gum health. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is characterized by swelling and bleeding of the gums and indicate that you should see a dentist right away. Regular cleanings every 6 months coupled with brushing and flossing twice a day can help remove the bacteria that cause this condition in order to protect your gums.
Thanks to the study from CCCPOHC, we may have yet another way to predict gum disease in order to prevent it. Menopausal women who experience bone fracturing should closely monitor their gums for signs of gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease called periodontal disease, which causes jawbone damage and tooth loss. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes and heart disease.
Protecting Your Health With Gum Therapy
In order to protect your overall health, Dr. Berry offers gum therapy to combat gum disease. We use scaling and root planning to remove hardened plaque that causes this destructive condition. Removing bacteria will alleviate irritation of your gums and reduce your risk of developing jaw-damaging infections underneath your gums.
If you experience symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease, please call 303-759-5652 today to schedule an appointment with a Denver dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care. Waiting may allow your symptoms to worsen.