Menopause & Oral Health
For years, various aspects of menopause, such as the hot flashes and the night sweats have been made fun of on TV and in movies. While these symptoms can often make for a good laugh or two, they are not necessarily a laughing matter.
During menopause, many women experience drastic changes to their hormone level that can drastically affect their oral health.
There have been studies which have shown that women are at a higher risk for oral complications due to fluctuations in their hormones. This begins during puberty and lasts all the way through into menopause.
In fact, researchers have even concluded that postmenopausal women are even more likely to develop periodontal disease than any other age group of women.
Learn more about the connection between menopause and your dental health with the help of your Newark dentists.
The Most Common Problems During Menopause
- Receding Gums – As a woman’s hormones fluctuate, this can cause their gums to become more sensitive than they once were. This leaves them prone to recession and puts your teeth at a greater risk of developing decay.
- Discomfort – A very common complaint from menopausal women is a general discomfort in their mouths. This ranges from minor issues such as dry mouth and altered perception of taste to more severe discomforts such as pain or burning sensations.
- Bone Loss – As a woman progresses through menopause, her estrogen levels will begin to decrease. In turn, this causes her bones to become weaker and lose some of their original density. Furthermore, this bone loss isn’t restricted to arms and legs. In fact, menopausal women often experience a loss of bone density in their jaws, which can affect how certain dental appliances fit.
- Tooth Loss – The bone loss experienced by a woman is also indicative and a precursor to tooth loss. In fact, researchers have shown that for every 1% loss in whole-body bone density, the risk of tooth loss increases as much as 4 times. There have been many other studies that have corroborated these findings, and some have shown that women with lower bone mineral densities have fewer teeth than control subjects.
Preventing Problems During Menopause
While menopause is an inevitable part of every woman’s life, oral complications don’t have to be.
The best thing you can do for your teeth is to follow a proper oral hygiene routine which involves brushing your twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once. Aside from that, always do your best to avoid acidic or sugary foods and make sure to visit your dentist regularly.
As a woman ages, it becomes more important that she eats properly to nourish her body with the necessary minerals to keep her bones, and teeth, healthy and strong.
During your next visit to your Newark dentists, be sure to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about taking care of your teeth during menopause.