Chronic kidney disease linked to tooth loss in postmenopausal women

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A new study recently published in Menopause, the journal of The Menopause Society, suggests a significant link between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and tooth loss, particularly in postmenopausal women.

Chronic kidney disease linked to tooth loss in postmenopausal women| Image Credit: ©Crystal Light - stock.adobe.com

Chronic kidney disease linked to tooth loss in postmenopausal women| Image Credit: ©Crystal Light - stock.adobe.com

While it is known that kidneys play a vital role in our overall health, serious health conditions can arise when this organ fails to filter foreign elements properly.1

A new study recently published in Menopause, the journal of The Menopause Society, suggests a significant link between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and tooth loss, particularly in postmenopausal women.1

The research focused on nearly 65,000 participants, including postmenopausal women, aged 40 years to 79 years, who partook in a Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2010-2018. In the study, investigators evaluated the participants’ glomerular filtration rate (GFR)—a key indicator of kidney function.1

Kidney function naturally declines with age and is further worsened after menopause due to declining reproductive hormone levels. Moreover, menopausal hormone changes often lead to abdominal obesity, a risk factor for CKD and a contributor to higher tooth loss risk.2

The main outcome measures of the study included1:

  • Age
  • income
  • education
  • smoking
  • alcohol intake
  • body mass index
  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • annual oral examination,
  • toothbrushing
  • use of oral care.

Additionally, subgroup analyses were conducted according to age (40-65 years and 66-79 years).1

The findings indicated that a decreased GFR is significantly associated with having fewer than 20 of the 28 adult teeth, indicating a link between chronic kidney disease and tooth loss in this patient population (PT20; CKD: odds ratio [OR] 1.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.90; estimated glomerular filtration rate (10 mL/min/1.73 m2): OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.86-0.94). The association was significantly pronounced in women aged 66 to 79 years (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.05-2.01).1

"This study highlights the known link between chronic kidney disease and bone metabolism. Increased attention to oral and bone health is warranted in postmenopausal women with chronic kidney disease, in addition to meticulous efforts aimed at preserving kidney function. Conversely, oral health is a window to overall health, and good oral hygiene is important for women of all ages," said Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director for The Menopause Society.2

The study's authors emphasize the broader implications of kidney disease, which not only increases the likelihood of bone and cardiovascular problems but also impacts oral health. Tooth loss, which reflects one's oral health status, is associated with systemic diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and osteoporosis, and poses an increased risk of stroke. Additionally, excessive tooth loss can impair essential functions like chewing and speech.2

References:

  1. Kim NY, Kim JE, Choi CH, Chung KH. Chronic kidney disease in postmenopausal women is associated with tooth loss. Menopause. Published online June 11, 2024. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000002375
  2. New Study Suggests Kidney Function Is Associated With Tooth Loss in Postmenopausal Women. The Menopause Society. June 12, 2024. Accessed June 13, 2024. https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/kidney-disease-and-tooth-loss.pdf

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