Can Menopause Impact Dental Health?
Hormone changes that end a woman’s menstrual cycle and her fertility begin with menopause. Menopause can start as early as your 40s, however each woman will experience it at a different age. A woman’s entire body, including the oral cavity, can be affected by hormonal changes in her body, namely a decrease in oestrogen. Can menopause influence dental health? You might be shocked to learn that the start of menopause may cause certain changes to your gums and teeth.
Menopause May Cause Dry Mouth
The mouth’s mucous membranes can become dry due to low oestrogen levels in the body. Even though not all women suffer dry mouth after menopause, some do and it can affect how you talk, chew, and swallow. Tooth enamel is also impacted by dry mouth.
Our teeth are defended against damaging acids and bacteria by saliva. Dry mouth conditions increase the likelihood that bacteria may attack and harm tooth enamel, which can result in sensitive teeth and tooth decay.
Fortunately, staying hydrated can help, but if you’re concerned that dry mouth is affecting your smile, see a dentist right away!
Osteoporosis Can Affect Alveolar Bone
In addition to maintaining the body’s mucous membranes’ moisture, oestrogen also supports bone density. Menopause frequently puts women at risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones can become thinner and more brittle due to a loss of oestrogen in the body. Alveolar bone, which aids in supporting teeth in the jaw, is another bone that osteoporosis can affect.
Less dense alveolar bone can cause teeth to become loose and even fall out. Regular dental examinations can help detect any abnormalities, such as loose teeth, to stop bone density loss and safeguard your smile (and your body)!
Women May Experience an Increased Risk of Gum Disease After Menopause
Although gum disease is not likely to be caused by menopause, it might nonetheless become worse if it already exists. Many people are unaware that they have gum disease, which affects roughly half of all American adults in some form.
Gum disease may deteriorate with menopause due to the numerous changes that can occur in the oral cavity during this time, such as dry mouth. Gum infections and tooth sensitivity may result from the gums pulling away from the teeth and turning more red.
If you have osteoporosis and gum disease after menopause, you may be at a higher risk for tooth loss. Gum disease can also lead to loose teeth. At your next appointment, discuss your risk for developing gum disease with your dentist as it is treatable and even curable.
Due to hormonal changes in the body that end menstruation, menopause causes several changes, some of which may have an impact on the mouth. However, by seeing your dentist and taking the best possible care of your smile when you enter menopause, you can maintain the health of your teeth and gums.