August 2, 2022
Menopause is the end of your menstrual cycle. Any change in hormones in the body makes a person’s teeth and gums more susceptible to oral health conditions. However, research shows that the effect is more permanent during menopause than during puberty or pregnancy.
Menopause is the end of your menstrual cycle. When a person doesn’t get a menstrual period for a year since their last, and then forever, they are experiencing menopause. It naturally occurs between ages 45 and 55 (the average age in the United States is 51), when ovaries stop producing eggs and there’s a decrease in the body’s hormone level. Any change in hormones in the body makes a person’s teeth and gums more susceptible to oral health conditions. However, research shows that the effect is more permanent during menopause than during puberty or pregnancy.
After and around the time of menopause, a woman’s body makes less estrogen. A decrease in estrogen leads to the mouth producing less saliva; therefore, resulting in dry mouth or xerostomia. In such a situation, you can increase the production and flow of saliva in your mouth by sucking on ice chips, chewing sugar-free gum, and drinking plenty of fluids.
People, three to twelve years past menopause, also experience BMS. The feeling is often described as a burning, scalding, or tingling sensation felt inside the mouth. It is best to consult your dentist to help with this and find ways to increase moisture in your mouth. They can recommend gels, sprays, or using a humidifier.
According to experts, more than 25% of people in the post-menopausal stage face the risk of losing teeth, and tooth decay. The change in hormone levels increases blood flow to the mouth causing swollen tissues leading to gum recession, osteoporosis, or even periodontal disease. There’s also a risk of being diagnosed with menopausal gingivostomatitis. If you notice your gums look deep red and bleed easily then there’s a chance you have this condition. It can be cured through proper medication. Low estrogen levels also may cause increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. But none of these thankfully happen overnight, therefore women have time to practice a healthy oral hygiene routine and prevent suffering through any of the above. The best course of action is to brush twice a day, floss every day, eat a balanced diet, use good fluoride toothpaste, and reduce consumption of sugar. Make sure to visit a dentist twice a year, or soon as your mouth shows symptoms of any of the above.
Hormone Replacement Therapy or Menopausal Hormone Therapy or Estrogen Replacement Therapy restores depleting vital hormones after menopause. It helps women manage a bunch of menopause-related issues including the prevention of tooth loss and gum disease. Studies have found that there’s a significant increase in salivary estrogen levels after HRT which solves the problem of dry mouth and in turn makes it easy to swallow food. HRT comes with some risks, but while the benefits outweigh them, it should still not be done without proper consultations and health-check ups. For all the young women, who are years away from menopause, remember it is never too early to start practicing a good oral routine.