Published: June 16, 2014
Dental Woes at Menopause
Menopause can bring on oral health problems that women and their clinicians should keep in mind. Women should practice good oral hygiene and seek regular dental care.
Some common dental problems women experience during menopause include:
- Oral problems such as pain, burning sensations, dry mouth are common complaints.
- Receding gums and inflammatory changes in gingiva may cause recession and tissue injury, as well as sensitivity.
- Increased risk of periodontal disease is due to hormone fluctuations during menopause. Gum disease is linked to health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
- Heightened risk for decay due to decreased saliva production during menopause.
- Tooth loss has been associated with osteoporosis. As our estrogen levels decline rapidly, this may lead to bone loss. Osteoporosis is a risk factor for periodontal disease. The rate of bone loss in postmenopausal women predicts tooth loss – for every 1% per year decrease in whole body bone density, the risk of tooth loss increases more than four times.
Regular Dental Care Is Essential
For prevention and early management of oral problems, Red Hot Mamas recommends you have a regular dental evaluation. Discuss with your clinician any changes and effects menopause is having in your dental health.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year to detect problems early on
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis
- Floss and brush with a fluoride containing toothpaste daily
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months of sooner if bristles look frayed
- Maintain a well-balanced diet and avoid sugary foods
- Talk to your dentist about your overall health and any changes in your teeth or gums you are having