How Does Menopause Affect Your Teeth?
There are a lot of common complications with menopause, from sleep issues, hot flashes, and mood swings, to weight gain. However, many women may not be aware of the impact that menopause has on their oral health.
Here at Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry in Peoria, we hear complaints from many of our female patients in their 40s and 50s about menopause and teeth issues. Let’s take a closer look at how menopause can affect your teeth.
Menopause and Teeth Sensitivity
During menopause, the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease, which impacts bone health and leads to an increased risk for osteoporosis. What women may not realize is that bone health is also important to oral health. Bone loss in the jaw can lead to increased tooth sensitivity, tooth pain, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
Bone loss in the jaw also puts women at risk for gum disease—another way that menopause and teeth sensitivity go hand-in-hand. As the bone density in the mouth decreases, the gums recede and cannot protect the teeth as well as they used to do. This can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease unless it’s treated promptly.
It’s important to note perimenopause can also impact oral health. We see many female patients complaining of sensitive teeth during perimenopause because their hormone levels have already started decreasing.
Menopause and Dry Mouth
In addition to bone loss, lowered hormones during menopause can also lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause acid build-up in the mouth that attacks and damages the tooth enamel. The mouth needs saliva to neutralize acid attacks and wash away the germs, bacteria, and food particles that cling to teeth and gums.
Known clinically as xerostomia, dry mouth can cause a host of problems for your teeth and gums, including:
- A lack of saliva causes bad breath
- Difficulty eating and drinking
- Change in taste to food and drink
- Enamel wear
- An uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth, tongue, and lips
How Can Menopausal Women Protect Their Teeth?
If you’re experiencing menopause and teeth issues, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Keep up with your at-home oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Continue to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Limit problematic substances like sugars, starchy foods, and alcohol.
- Maintain regular exercise as much as possible.
- Talk to your gynecologist or family physician about any medical prescriptions you’re taking that can make dry mouth worse.
- Visit your dentist regularly twice a year and talk to them about any treatments that may help with menopause teeth pain or dry mouth.
Menopause And Teeth Issues
If you’re experiencing menopause and toothache or perimenopause-sensitive teeth, it’s vital to stay up-to-date on your regular dental cleanings. Our knowledgeable staff can advise you on the products and treatments available to help ease your menopause teeth pain. Make your appointment today with Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry in Peoria by calling 623-487-4870 or visiting mettlergriego.com.
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