Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Research shows postmenopausal women on estrogen therapy have improved oral health with less tooth and gum disease.
Estrogen therapy is used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It has been linked to reducing hot flashes, improving heart health, bone density and levels of sexual satisfaction.
A reduction of estrogen levels in menopause can lead to tooth and gum problems including inflammation, bleeding, pain and tooth loss.
A study of 492 postmenopausal Brazilian women ages 50 to 87 were split into two groups, 113 given osteoporosis estrogen treatment and 379 were not treated.
Results showed the occurrence of severe periodontitis was 44 percent less in the group taking estrogen treatment than in the group not on estrogen therapy.
"Osteoporosis can occur throughout the body, including the jaw, and lead to an increased risk of periodontal disease," Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a press release. "This study demonstrates that estrogen therapy, which has proven to be effective in preventing bone loss, may also prevent the worsening of tooth and gum disease. All women, but especially those with low estrogen or on bisphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis, should make good dental care a part of their healthy lifestyles."
The study was published in Menopause.