Battling Periodontitis in Postmenopausal Women

Lack of Estrogen: Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss

The lack of estrogen in menopausal women places them at risk of osteoporosis as they age. Bones lose their supply of natural circulating estrogen hormones that lead to porous and weakened bones, liable to fracture. As countermeasure, some women get estrogen therapy with supplements of calcium and vit D.

It has been known, though, that menopausal women also have higher rates of periodontal disease. The condition can contribute to destruction of jaw bone and lost of teeth. Will estrogen therapy also help counter these effects as they do with osteoporosis?

A new research from the University of Buffalo revealed that the therapy can help. Women over 50 treated with estrogen for osteoporosis are 44% less likely to have severe periodontitis than women who did not receive the treatment.

Although previous studies have investigated the relationship between osteoporosis and tooth loss, few have examined the link between estrogen therapy and periodontitis, a disease that can ultimately lead to tooth loss and destruction of the jaw bone. The University of Buffalo study helped confirm the results of earlier trials that hormonal treatment can prevent both osteoporosis and gum disease.

The trial was conducted at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil, and published in the July issue of Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society. Five hundred postmenopausal women joined, 356 were diagnosed with osteoporosis, and 113 agreed to have estrogen therapy. Those who did not agree to the treatment were also monitored. It concluded that those who had the therapy had less periodontal probing depth and clinical attachment loss and less gum bleeding. Also, showing lesser prevalence of periodontal disease was found in those who have a higher family income and have more dental visitations.

While estrogen therapy’s role may be significant in menopausal women, it carries the potential risk of heart disease and breast cancer, More studies need to show just how prevention and treatment of osteoporosis may also help to control periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Understanding Postmenopausal Women

Smile Art in Seattle understands the special dental issues of women over 50 and beyond. Know that at this age range you need to keep your appointments more faithfully so we can look after your teeth and gum health more closely. Happy smiles!

Taking Care of Your Teeth Even When You’re 70

Misconceptions about Oral Health for Seniors

You might think that losing your teeth and wearing dentures are a normal part of aging. When you’re pushing 70, you’d expect that you’ll not be keeping most of your teeth anymore. You will find it harder to brush and floss, your gums may hurt or find your ridges shrinking. Seniors should know that if they maintain good oral hygiene and get regular dental care, they can still keep most of their teeth, have healthy gums, and smile with confidence.

Find here certain misconceptions that most seniors believe and which become barriers to their attaining the best of dental care for themselves. Recommendations are also offered for their benefit.

It’s wrong to think that losing teeth comes naturally with age. Today, you don’t find too many elderly Americans who have become edentulous, meaning those who have lost almost all their natural teeth. Awareness has enabled many to still keep their dentition because they are lowering their risk for cavities by taking care of their teeth. Prevention is also responsible for many to keep gum disease at bay.

Painful teeth, gums and arches are not a natural accompaniment to aging. A 75 year old perceives dental pain differently than a 45 year old. Pain perception changes with age and the elderly might put off needed care. The senior may not realize that pain is a sign of an underlying problem. They might wait until such time that it debilitates them and that could lead to tooth loss and costly reconstructive work.

Seniors may think that teeth softens with age. It’s not true. It might be that the patient’s jaw bone has become brittle with age, there is some degree of bone loss in the jaw supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease may be progressing and with diseased gum tissue, teeth can break up because of decay.

The elderly and their caregivers are reluctant to brush teeth when bleeding occurs. When gums bleed, it’s a sign of infection resulting from poor oral hygiene. It’s going to bleed at the start, but cleaning must not stop. Gentle brushing must continue and the bleeding will soon stop. Gums can be healthy again.

It’s not true that missing teeth and faulty dentures make seniors eat less. One can always choose softer and nutritious foods and have their dentures corrected, or opt for implants for more secure dentition.

Busting Senior Dental Myths in Downtown Seattle

If seniors get regular dental care, they would know what’s true and what’s not. That is what we offer our elderly patients who come to consult with us in Downtown Seattle.

How Long Have You Been Breastfeeding Your Baby?

Extended Breastfeeding And Your Baby

How does breastfeeding, bottle-feeding and sugar intake affect children’s risk for cavities?

There are not many studies. Published in Pediatrics, a study out of Brazil examined whether long-term breastfeeding alone, separate from sugar consumption, affects children’s risk for developing future cavities. The study involved 1,129 children who at age five were evaluated by dentists for filled, decayed and missing primary tooth surfaces, and for severe cavities.

It was found that nearly 25% had severe cavities, or six or more filled, decayed or missing primary tooth surfaces. Those who were breastfed for 2 years or more had double the risk of severe cavities than those breastfed for under one year.

The researchers explained the results. Children who were breast-feeding beyond 24 months are usually those breastfed on demand and at night. Also, the higher frequency of these habits makes it very difficult to clean teeth in this specific period. It was also discovered that if the babies were breastfed for just 6 months, 72% of the time, they are less likely to develop crooked teeth.

Does this mean that breastfeeding is bad for baby’s teeth?

It certainly is not. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one year of breast-feeding followed by reassessment. The World Health Organization suggests breast-feeding for two years or more. Experts say that mothers and babies can go on breastfeeding as long as preventive measures are employed to avoid cavities, such as early toothbrushing, wiping off excess milk and sugar from teeth and gums, use of fluoride and the like.

Because of the benefits of breast-feeding to children’s overall health, it is still very much encouraged that babies suckle their mother’s milk for as long as can be – for at least 12 months, if feasible, 24 months. However, the mechanisms underlying this practice (based on the results of the above study) still need further investigation.

Infant Oral Health by our Seattle Dentist

You must begin to talk to us about your baby’s oral health as soon as his first teeth grow in or at age one year, as recommended. We at Smile Art in Seattle are just as concerned about baby’s teeth as we are of adults’. See Dr. Jamie Lee soon for your baby’s first appointment.

Original Article