How Does Menopause Affect the Health of Your Teeth?
Posted on 7/10/2018 by Dr. Reeder
Each woman is different, but you may not know that menopause can also affect your oral health.
Menopause impacts your estrogen levels, which decrease during this time, and impact your entire body including your gums and teeth.
Lower estrogen levels can be conducive to a dry mouth that will result in an increased growth of bacteria that causes plaque and tooth decay. This can lead to gum disease or periodontitis if left unattended.
Signs of Menopause in Your Mouth
During menopause, when the estrogen levels drop, women can experience a dry mouth, a burning sensation in the mouth, an altered sense of taste, and extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods. The gums can also become inflamed, irritated, bleed or hurt at this time.
What to Do About a Dry Mouth
A dry mouth happens when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep it moist, making it difficult to speak, eat or swallow. It is not only uncomfortable to have a dry mouth, but this condition can bring on a series of dental problems including tooth decay and gum disease.
If you smoke or drink alcohol, you should try to stay away from these habits, as they can trigger other oral problems. Drinking tea and coffee every day can also contribute to a dry mouth. Chewing sugarless gum can increase saliva production. Cinnamon or citrus flavored gums are good choices, but make sure that you do not chew gum too often.
Proper oral care, including regular visits to our office, good habits at home, a healthy diet that includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, and sometimes estrogen supplements can provide relief for people suffering from menopause.
Make sure you are not neglecting your teeth during this time of your life, and if you haven't been to see us for a while, please call our office to make an appointment now, especially if you're having some discomfort in your mouth.