Post-Menopausal Women At Higher Risk For Gum Disease

Posted on Jan 26, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Menopause is typically accompanied by hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue and moodiness. Once a female enters the post-menopausal phase, these symptoms may subside while a new problem emerges. Research has shown that being post-menopausal heightens the risk of tooth loss.

Studies have revealed that bone loss in postmenopausal women can be accompanied by a greater risk for periodontal (gum) disease. A study published by the National Institutes of Health cited that post-menopausal females with signs of osteoporosis had an increased liklihood of gum disease when compared to post-menopausal women with no signs of osteoporosis.

It has long been known that a reduction in estrogen levels contributes to bone loss. Post-menopausal women may also experience a reduction of saliva, which increases the potential for cavities.

The estrogen drops of menopause also increase the risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can alleviate symptoms associated with estrogen deficiency, replacing estrogen may also prevent some of the chronic illnesses common to postmenopausal women.

Our goal is to provide care to each patient that takes their overall health into consideration. This is why we ask you to keep your health history and medication list up to date. This information enables us to customize your care to your unique needs. This can also help you avoid problems or minimize those that do emerge.

If you are post-menopausal, be especially aware of the signs of gum disease. These include gums that bleed when brushing, sore or tender gums, receded gums that expose darker tooth root sections, gums that darken in color, persistent bad breath or pus pockets that form at the base of some teeth. Call 828-274-9440 to schedule an examination at your earliest convenience.

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