Snaggle Toothed Menopause

Postmenopausal women need to emphasize dental health

(RxWiki News) In "Miracle on 34th street," Kris Kringle said, "I'm as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth." Old teeth need a little loving care too.

Nigel Carter, D.D.S., chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, reports that tooth loss may happen at any age, but this latest research underscores the substantial risk in the postmenopausal period.

In a study of over 1,000 postmenopausal women, 29 percent lost at least one tooth over a five year period.

"Brushing and flossing are key to dental health."

The cumulative effects of risk factors such as weight, smoking, diabetes and previous poor dental health create an especially high risk for tooth decay and loss, which has an impact on appearance and self-image. Dr. Carter believes that in a few years, 90 percent of this group will experience tooth loss.

This age group should follow a twice daily brushing and flossing routine using fluoride toothpaste. Eating a good diet with less sugar, less soda and regular trips to the dentist will help prevent tooth loss.

Dr. Carter observes while most people do brush regularly, oftentimes flossing and dental visits are postponed. Small changes will make an impact to one's dental health in the long run.

Dentists and dental hygienists have the unique ability to remove all the build-up on teeth and treat gum diseases that can occur during the postmenopausal phase.

This research is published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

Review Date: 
July 14, 2011