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Dental Care Needs of Postmenopausal Women: 1800Dentist.com

Within the dental care industry, the standard advice is for everyone to get two dental checkups on an annual basis. New research presented by the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic have shown that postmenopausal women are in a class by themselves and should partake in more regular dental visits to ensure the best dental health possible.

The new advice encouraging postmenopausal women to get more frequent dental checkups to avoid dental problems is based on a comparison study of women getting bone-strengthening bisphosphonate therapies for osteoporosis with women not seeking treatment for the condition (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/218911.php). While the initial research was conducted to see how the treatment affected the jawbone, the results unearthed new dental advice for women who have gone through menopause.

About the Study

Leena Palomo (assistant professor of periodontics, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine ) and Maria Clarinda Beunocamino-Francisco (Center for Specialized Women's Health, Cleveland Clinic) conducted the study of 28 of women with healthy bones and 28 women on the osteoporosis therapy medicine ranging in age 51-80. All study participants received conebeam CT imaging of their jaws.

Group members had thorough periodontal exams for "...dental plaque, bleeding, and loss of bone attachment and of the alveolar bone socket," (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/218911.php). Each participant followed a daily oral hygiene practice of brushing twice a day and flossing as recommended by the American Dental Association. Additionally all study members had a history of getting their biannual dental checkups.

Study Findings

Once the collected data was analyzed the researchers found that the key indicators of osteoporosis were similar in both groups of women, regardless of if they were participating in bone-strengthening bisphosphonate therapies or not. The women had another thing in common as well, increased dental plaque levels. The research showed that women partaking in the therapy had indeed gained bone mass compared to their non-therapy counterparts, but the higher than average levels of dental plaque annulled any potential benefits of the treatment.

1-800-DENTIST describes dental plaque as the "...sticky invisible film that accumulates on your teeth -- on the biting surfaces, in the spaces between the teeth, and along the gum line." The compound has been known to increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and slews of dental problems. One of the most common side effects of dental plaque build up is gum disease, (AKA periodontitis), an inflammatory reaction that can prompt tooth erosion and if left untreated will eat away at the connection of teeth to the jawbone. That infection will increase the odds of tooth loss and the problems associated with that condition. As a result of the study, postmenopausal women are now advised to get professional dental cleanings four times annually.

Dental Woes of Women

Courtesy of a women's XX genetic marker, the gender has their own set of dental issues. This latest finding in relationship to the dental problems of postmenopausal women is another addition to the pile. Other gender specific dental woes include the fact that 90 percent of all TMJ sufferers are female, menopausal women are at greater risk for experiencing burning mouth syndrome and pregnancy gingivitis.

Because of the additional dental health risks associated with the gender, women have the extra burden of having to practice perfect dental hygiene in order to maintain white teeth and a healthy smile. A great dentist is instrumental to ensuring oral well being and 1-800-DENTIST can connect any woman (or man) in need with a great, screened dentist.