Tooth loss ‘significantly higher’ in postmenopausal women

Tooth loss 'significantly higher' in postmenopausal womenWomen who have gone through the menopause are more likely to experience gum disease and tooth loss. 

The fresh study exposed links between the emotional wellbeing of women and early tooth loss, sparking calls for the reinforcement of good oral healthcare at crucial stages of a woman’s life.

Comparing the oral health and wellbeing of post and premenopausal women, the research found:

  • Tooth loss was ‘significantly higher’ in premenopausal women after adjusting for age
  • No significant difference in periodontitis
  • Prevalence of periodontitis linked to fewer daily tooth brushing sessions in postmenopausal women
  • All participants with periodontitis rated higher for ‘depressed mood’ than those without
  • Women reporting fewer daily tooth brushing sessions scored higher for depressive mood.

At risk

Researchers concluded that there is an association between the menopause, the number of missing teeth and poor emotional wellbeing.

It also suggests that women with a history of periodontitis may be more likely to experience emotional problems. Additionally, women experiencing depressive moods may be more at risk of periodontitis.

The study saw more than 100 women undergo a comprehensive medical assessment, as well as a full mouth oral examination.

They also filled out the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ) to detail their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Finally, researchers secured participants’ bone mineral density (BMD) scores from their medical records.

Better support

Published in BMC Women’s Health, the aim of the study was to compare the periodontal status and wellbeing of postmenopausal and premenopausal women.

The researchers call for additional, follow-up studies to better support the link between menopause and poor oral health.

This is due to the chronic nature of depression and periodontitis.

There are many stages in a woman’s life where changes to hormone levels can lead to oral diseases.

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