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Postmenopausal women need to protect oral health

Women after menopause, who are at a heightened risk for tooth loss, can reduce their risk by guarding their periodontal health, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

A recent study evaluated 106 postmenopausal women for an average of nearly 12 years and found that 57.5 percent of participants lost at least one tooth.

The strongest predictor in the study for tooth loss, researchers said, was loss of alveolar bone, or bone that holds teeth in the mouth. Loss of bone and loss of soft tissue attachment of the gums contributed to tooth loss.

Although researchers say more study needs to be conducted to determine if women after menopause have additional risks for periodontal disease and bone loss-perhaps due to estrogen deficiency after menopause and loss of bone mineral density-they say older women should guard their periodontal health to protect their teeth.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

08/01/2005

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