Does Menopause Affect Your Teeth and Gums?
Going through menopause is not the most pleasant time in many women’s lives. While you may be pleased that you no longer have to have to worry about birth control or periods (finally!) there are some side effects that can be less than pleasant – including changes to your teeth and gums.
Menopause generally happens to women in their 40s and 50s. However, the age at which menopause starts is rising globally. The first signs of menopause may be that your periods become increasingly irregular, or disappear completely. You will probably start to notice that you have hot flushes across the day, and even wake up in a cold sweat at night – these particularly can be unpleasant to deal with.
The reason that we go through menopause is that our body stops producing eggs so that we can no longer have babies. During menopause one of the reasons that we get so many changes within our bodies is the decline of oestrogen within your body and a change to the ratios of oestrogen to progesterone and testosterone. This can cause all sorts of side effects. Some women are more heavily affected by changing hormone levels than others. While your friend may breeze through menopause with just the occasional hot flush, you might suffer from a whole range of different associated symptoms.
One of these symptoms can be changes to your teeth and gums.
Once you hit menopause, your bone density starts to decrease, leaving your bones more brittle and more prone to damage and breakages. Because your teeth are attached closely to your jaw bone, this can lead to instability with your teeth or even tooth loss. To help stop bone density, make sure to supplement with calcium in your diet and consult your doctor about how to combat osteoporosis.
Menopause can also cause issues with your gums and salivary glands, leading to a dry mouth, which can in turn trigger gingivitis or gum disease. This should be addressed as soon as possible by a trip to the dentist, along with possibly options such as mouth spray, chewing gum, or even medication. Gum disease can lead to major dental issues down the track so make sure to keep on top of it.
Some women choose to use hormone replacement therapy to help fight the symptoms of menopause. If you are really suffering from the changes in your body it’s worth having a chat to your doctor about this possibility.
If you are concerned about your oral health while going through menopause, book an appointment with us at Dental Clinic in Parramatta. We can help to make sure that your mouth remains in tip top shape both through this difficult stage and beyond.
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