Menopause and oral health: What you need to know

Menopause can bring some concerns for your oral health.

Menopause is a significant life stage for women and it incurs many changes throughout the body, including in your mouth. Fluctuations in hormone levels and other factors can put women at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease during this stage of their life. 

Here are some of the potential problems women can look out for when going through menopause, and what to do about them. 

1. Burning Mouth Syndrome 

This condition is just as uncomfortable as it sounds. It refers to intense pain in the mouth, including the lips, tongue and palate. The pain can manifest as a burning, tingling or scalding sensation, and may stay at constant levels or build in intensity throughout the day. This syndrome doesn't affect the health of your teeth but because it can be very painful, you may want to seek a doctor's advice for pain medication. 

A painful, tingling sensation can start in your mouth when you reach menopause. A painful, tingling sensation can start in your mouth when you reach menopause.

2. Dry mouth

Changes in estrogen levels can lead to dry mouth. As well as being uncomfortable, this can put women at a higher risk of dental decay. Saliva is the first line of defence against decay, helping to wash away harmful bacteria and food particles as well as neutralise acid. A lack of saliva means decay-causing bacteria can flourish. 

To help keep any problems associated with dry mouth at bay, a good oral care routine that includes thorough brushing and regular flossing is important. 

Having a dry mouth is common during menopause and can lead to dental problems. Having a dry mouth is common during menopause and can lead to dental problems.

3. Periodontitis

Menopause can have an impact on the health of your gums, including a higher risk of periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. According to an article published in Midlife Health, postmenopausal women have higher rates and more severe cases of periodontitis than those who haven't undergone menopause. 

Brushing and flossing correctly are important at all stages of life, but even more so for women going through menopause. Brushing and flossing correctly are important at all stages of life, but even more so for women going through menopause.

Once again, the best defence is good oral hygiene and frequent check ups with your dentist to stay on top of your dental health and make sure any problems don't escalate. 

City Dentists will take the best care of your oral health through every stage of your life. Make an appointment with us for your regular check up or for help with any dental treatments.