Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Estrogen combined with calcium and vitamin D may prevent tooth loss

24.06.2002


Researchers have discovered a possible added benefit of hormone replacement therapy: saving teeth.



Postmenopausal women who took a daily dose of estrogen along with calcium, vitamin D and regular dental check-ups improved the condition of their jaw, which could potentially reduce the risk of tooth loss. Women who had regular check-ups but took only calcium and vitamin D also improved jaw mass and density, though to a significantly lesser extent than those who received estrogen.

This is the first prospective, controlled study aimed at determining the effects of estrogen on the jaw. The study was conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and will appear in the June 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.


"Tooth loss is fairly prevalent in the aging population, particularly in people over 65, about 40 percent of whom have lost all their teeth," says Roberto Civitelli, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology. "The risk is higher for women aged 65 or older, and continues to increase the longer a women has been postmenopausal. There are so many people with dentures that I think this really requires more attention, particularly as the population ages."

Estrogen already has been shown to help reverse the effects of osteoporosis and to improve bone density in postmenopausal women. Civitelli’s team wanted to find out whether these benefits elsewhere in the skeleton also translate to the facial bones, particularly the alveolar bone, which surrounds the teeth. Bone loss in these areas also increases with age and is believed to be a risk factor for tooth loss when combined with periodontal disease.

The team randomly assigned 135 postmenopausal women with no evidence of periodontal disease into one of two groups. One group took an estrogen tablet once a day while the second group took a look-alike sugar pill. All women received daily calcium and vitamin D supplements as well as regular dental care and yearly cleanings. All participants continued treatment for three years.

Women who received hormone replacement therapy had a significantly greater increase in alveolar bone mass (1.84 percent) compared with those who took the placebo (.95 percent gain).

Researchers also measured changes in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine and the left femur, the leg bone attached to the hip. Women taking estrogen had a significant increase in bone mineral density in the femur (3.59 percent), whereas their placebo counterparts did not (.22 percent). Women in the estrogen group gained 1.01 percent bone mineral density in the lumbar spine compared with .17 percent gain in the placebo group, though these changes were not statistically significant.

The effects of estrogen on jawbone density seems to reflect an overall effect on the skeleton, since improvements in the facial bones of women on estrogen correlated with increases in the lumbar spine and femur. There were no such correlations in women taking placebos. In other words, women who took estrogen and had large gains in the jaw also had large gains in other sites. On the other hand, women in the control group had slight increases in jawbone mineral density, but these were not correlated with improvements elsewhere.

"This means that perhaps you can prevent bone erosion in the jaw with calcium and vitamin D, but those supplements are not sufficient to restore bone loss," says Civitelli. "However, estrogen does appear to restore bone throughout the body."

Civitelli’s team now plans to examine whether estrogen alternatives provide similarly beneficial results. They also are working on new methods to test jawbone density to try to identify women at risk for overall skeletal loss and osteoporosis.


Civitelli R, Pilgram TK, Dotson M, Muckerman J, Lewandowski N, Armamento-Villareal R, Yokoyama-Crothers N, Kardaris EE, Hauser J, Cohen S, Hildebolt CF. Alveolar and postcranial bone density in postmenopausal women receiving hormone/estrogen replacement therapy. Archives of Internal Medicine, June 24, 2002.

Funding from the National Institutes of Health, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories and Smith-Kline Beecham supported this research.

The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.


Gila Z. Reckess | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>