Menopause and Oral Health: Navigating The Changes

Posted on 27th January 2024

Recently I have been discussing with some of my patients the impact that the menopause can have on dental and oral health. This also highlighted that there is a lack of available, reliable information to help people who are suffering with these changes. Beyond the common, well known symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, there are a wide range of dental and oral impacts to explore.

Menopause and Gum Health

During the menopause, the levels of a hormone called oestrogen starts to fall. This results in a change in bone quality, and for some, this can lead to the development of osteoporosis. These bony changes can also be seen in the jaws, meaning gum disease can progress more rapidly, with teeth becoming looser, drifting or falling out. This can also result in teeth looking more crowded, and also suffering with sensitivity to hot and cold. We can mitigate agains these changes, with routine professional dental hygiene appointments, treatments for sensitivity and re-aligning crooked teeth using Invisalign. Pain and Burning Mouth Syndrome A less common condition associated with menopause is Burning Mouth Syndrome. This is
normally seen in female patients aged in their 40s and 50s. The symptoms of burning mouth include a persistent burning or scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, cheeks or gums. However, there are other potential causes of this, and so it is important for anyone struggling with symptoms like this to arrange an assessment appointment.

Dry Mouth

Experiencing a dry mouth, or reduced saliva flow is common during and post-menopause. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it can also make you more susceptible to dental decay and gum disease. However, there are many practical measures we can implement to improve your comfort and reduce your risk of dental issues. This includes frequent sips of water, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, reducing or stopping smoking and there are also a number of sugar-free artificial saliva products.

What Else Can We Do?

At Infinity Dental Clinic we are always here to support patients during challenging times. For this reason, we always recommend joining our membership plan, Denplan. This will be a tailored plan, built to cover your individual needs, which will ensure you are always receiving regular thorough dental examinations and hygiene appointments. We also advise a good brushing routine, which our Hygienists are able to advise on. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog, and I hope you have found it useful.

– Dr. Roma McNeil

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