Post-Menopausal Women Have Unique Oral Health Challenges

Posted on Nov 24, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

For women who are post-menopausal, the risk for developing periodontal (gum) disease and experiencing tooth loss is much greater than ever before. Research shows that it is particularly so in the first decade after menopause begins.

What causes this is the decline in estrogen levels, which leads to higher rates of bone loss. Studies show that bone loss (or osteoporosis) in postmenopausal women can be accompanied by an increased risk of gum disease.

In addition to a higher risk of gum disease, post-menopause may bring about a lower volume of saliva, which is the mouth’s natural cleansing agent. Saliva helps to keep bacteria moving out of the mouth. When it is insufficient, bacteria levels are allowed to grow beyond what the immune system can manage.

One such study found that post-menopausal females with osteoporosis had a significantly greater susceptibility for gum disease than that of women with no indications of osteoporosis. Estrogen decline after menopause also increases the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s along with increased cavities and taste alterations.

For women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the restoration of estrogen has been shown to help post-menopausal women be less susceptible to these health issues. Naturally, this is based on the recommendations of your medical doctor and your receptiveness to using an HRT.

Even though your oral health is our emphasis, your overall health is our concern as well. While both are designed to work together, it’s natural that particular risk factors occur with the aging process. By keeping your oral health at an ideal level, you avoid problems in the first place or, for any that do occur, we can provide early treatment that will help you avoid greater time and costs for more complex treatment.

Begin with a healthy foundation. Call 828-274-9440 for a thorough examination.

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