For postmenopausal women considering hormone replacement therapy, we may have an item for you to place in the ‘pro’ column – increased dental health. The Journal of Periodontology has recently published a study suggesting that estrogen supplements may have the ability to prevent or slow the progression of gum disease and periodontitis.
How Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help
As many as half of Americans over the age of 50 suffer from periodontitis, which is the advanced stages of periodontal (gum) disease. Scientists theorize that the same lack of estrogen that can cause osteoporosis can also speed the up the loss of the bones in the jaw. This bone loss can eventually lead to losing teeth. Fortunately for women receiving hormone replacement therapy, the estrogen supplementation may lower the inflammation in the gums and can slow the damage to the bone that supports the teeth.
It’s estimated that around 25% of women between the ages of 30-50 suffer from periodontitis. In addition, an astonishing 44% of women ages 50-90 (who still have their natural teeth) have periodontitis. Because gum disease often goes undetected, many women may not realize they have the disease until it’s reached a more advanced state.
Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease
Below are some symptoms of periodontal disease that shouldn’t go ignored:
- Gums that bleed when brushing the teeth
- Gums that are swollen, tender, or red
- Chronic bad breath
- Receding gums
- Discovering pus between the teeth and the gums
- Loosening teeth
If you suspect you may have gum disease or for more information on how hormone replacement therapy can help decrease the risk of periodontal disease, our oral surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schacht, may have more answers. Although our specialty surrounds oral surgery and advanced dental care, we know a thing of two about your health and how it is impacted by your oral hygiene.