Why We Should Be Concerned About Our Teeth And Gums At Menopause…And, What Our Dentists Want Us To Know

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: June 13, 2018

Contributed by Karen Giblin- Red Hot Mamas Expert

Menopause may cause problems with your teeth and gums. Fluctuating hormone levels may contribute to making our gums more sensitive and vulnerable to infections. As our estrogen levels plummet, our mouth becomes drier; bacteria may grow which can cause tooth decay and create periodontal gum disease. Declining estrogen levels during our postmenopausal years may also contribute to a loss in bone mineral density making us more prone to tooth loss. So, it’s very important to keep your mouth healthy, especially at menopause. Paying extra attention to good oral hygiene will certainly pay off in the long run.

Make sure your dentist knows about your menopause status and discuss if any bone loss shows up on your dental x-rays. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, the bones in your mouth (mandibula and maxilla) are at risk, too. Tell your dentist you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Virtually all tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene. Inadequate dental hygiene will leave you with plaque, cavities, inflamed gums and it may also increase your risk of heart disease. If you want to enjoy healthy teeth well into old age, take a few minutes each day to brush and floss.

Good Oral Hygiene Recommendations:

  • Get regular dental checkups every six months and a regular visit to the hygienist. More often if you have problems like gum disease.
  • Brush twice a day and floss daily. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste to reduce tooth decay. And, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to keep the bristles clean and remove bacteria. Floss by using a back and forth motion and curve the floss between each tooth.
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 months. Replace with a soft bristled toothbrush. Some people find it easier to use an electric toothbrush and it does a much better job brushing and cleaning spaces where your teeth and gums meet.
  • Eat smart by eating a healthy diet with little sugar may prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking not only stains your teeth but also puts you at greater risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer