For so long, it’s been almost taboo to discuss menstruation or women’s periods. There’s something about this natural, healthy part of existing that just seems to be too much to discuss openly and freely.
But since Dr. Lewis Yu and the caring team at the All About Smiles holistic dental office in Wilmington are invested in helping you better yourself both inside and out, from head to toe, we want to shed light on this distinctive transition in every woman’s life and the effects it can have on your oral health. Let’s go beyond the hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes to explore what happens to your mouth during menopause.
There a few clinical studies out there linking menopause to oral health issues due to the changes in hormone levels. According to this 2014 study published in the Journal of Mid-Life Health, the reduction in estrogen was found to have cause dry mouth and lead to possible gum diseases. The study also found that more research would be needed to make a clear connection and that an overwhelming number of both patients and dentists alike have no idea about the connection between your mouth and menopause.
There so many ways menopause is thought to impact your oral health. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest possible side effects and then talk about what you can do to protect your smile from any potential damage.
Dry Mouth: You might hear or see this called xerostomia, but dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. We’ve all that feeling when your whole mouth seems to be as dry as the desert and no matter how much you move your tongue or smack your lips together, nothing works. Besides making eating and swallowing a bit more of a challenge, dry mouth can cause acid and decay to harm your teeth because they’re without saliva – an important antidote to attacks on your teeth.
Sometimes you’re prescribed medications to help with the transition into menopause. It’s important always to remember that prescription pills always come with side effects and dry mouth is extremely common.
If you’re told you need one or more of these medications, dry mouth could likely occur:
Gum Disease: If you’ve ever been pregnant, then you might remember your holistic dentist in Wilmington telling you about the importance of monitoring your periodontal or gum health. It has to do with hormones, and the same goes for women experiencing menopause. Gums can become more sensitive, bleed excessively, cause mouth pain, and start to recede over time.
Overall Discomfort: Many women experiencing menopause often tell their dentists that they feel pain or a burning sensation. Some patients have even reported that foods and beverages simply don’t taste the same anymore.
If you’re going through a menopausal or postmenopausal transition in your life (or if you know someone who is) and need some smile TLC, please don’t hesitate to call our holistic dental office in Wilmington. As holistic health practitioners, we can create a comprehensive, integrative treatment plan with everything from chiropractic care to massage therapy. Relax, we’ve got you covered!
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!