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Women and Tooth Loss

Did you know that by age 65, one out of 3 women in the US will have NONE of their original teeth?!  While tooth loss is often considered a cosmetic problem only, it may also signal a much larger health concern:  poor oral hygiene or osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis is a disease marked by low bone mineral density that may lead to increased fracture risk.  When osteoporosis affects the jaw, it weakens the foundation that holds teeth in place. 

Women who have osteoporosis are much more likely to have dentures by age 60 than women without it.  Women with severe osteoporosis are 3 times as likely to have no teeth than healthy women.  Elderly women missing teeth are much more likely than those with teeth to have inadequate nutritional intake and thus significantly decreased quality of life.

Other risk factors for tooth loss in menopausal women include poor oral hygiene, cavities, trauma, diabetes, and poor diet (especially low calcium intake). 

Created: 12/11/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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