HealthDay News — Postmenopausal women who are at high risk for fractures may also be at increased risk for gum disease, according to a study published in the January issue of Menopause.

The research included 188 women, aged 51 to 80. They had all gone through menopause within the last 10 years; didn’t smoke; and hadn’t taken hormone replacement therapy, bone loss prevention drugs, or diabetes medications for at least five years. 

The women’s gums were examined and their fracture risk was assessed on a Fracture Assessment Risk Tool (FRAX), which takes into account factors such as weight, height, previous fractures, arthritis, smoking, and diabetes.

Women with high fracture risk scores also showed the strongest signs of gum disease, a finding that suggests that fracture risk could be a reliable indicator of gum disease.

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“More investigations are needed, but the FRAX tool score can potentially be used as a way to find women at risk for gum disease,” Leena Palomo, DDS, director of the periodontics program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in Ohio, said in a university news release. Health insurance does not cover dental procedures, but there should be coverage for gum disease because it’s linked to a woman’s overall health, Palomo said.


1. Alli F. Menopause. 2015; doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000272