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The National Center of Biotechnology Information reports that approximately 1.3 million women experience menopause annually. This significant milestone can impact not only a woman’s physical health but also her dental health. While age can bring wisdom, confidence, and experience, it can also cause hormonal changes, bodily transformations, and a greater risk for dental issues.
The link between menopause and oral health is multifaceted. As you navigate through this stage in your life, it is important to know what to look out for and what measures you can take to maintain good oral health.
Menopause brings about chemical changes in your body, resulting in reduced production of progesterone and estrogen. This hormonal shift can lead to decreased saliva production, increasing the likelihood of dry mouth. Saliva plays a crucial role in preventing gum recession, and it also helps to eliminate food particles and bacteria from your teeth. However, with dry mouth, your body may not generate enough saliva to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Additionally, menopause heightens your risk of “burning mouth syndrome,” which causes a burning sensation in your mouth, including your lips, gums, cheeks, throat, and palate.
To address these issues, there are self-care options available if you experience dryness, oral pain, sores, or other oral health problems. Your Dallas dentist may recommend diet modifications, oral rinses, or medications to supplement the hormones that your body is no longer producing. If you suspect that you are experiencing menopause, it is important to communicate openly with your dentist, gynecologist, or physician, who can diagnose your symptoms and personalize your treatment based on your unique medical history and situation.
Moreover, after menopause, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases due to the significant decline in estrogen production, a hormone that directly affects your bones. Osteoporosis can lead to tooth loss, further raising your risk of gum disease.
Do not worry, there are steps that you can take to maintain good bone density.
These oral health habits are still among the best:
Aging elevates health risks, including diseases that are preventable, like gum disease, and tooth decay. If you are experiencing menopause and would want some additional advice on how to keep your mouth healthy, do not hesitate to get in touch with your Dallas dentist. Dr. Kong and your friendly Dallas Dental Wellness team are always here to support you with your oral health.
“Menopause,” National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507826/
“What Women Need to Know,” Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation, https://www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/
“Drink Less for Strong Bones,” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/alcohol