Menopause And Gum Disease

menopause helpWomen become more prone to dental and oral health issues during menopause and at other periods of hormonal change. Altered oestrogen levels along with the natural aging process are thought to give rise to a higher incidence of oral health issues at this stage in women’s lives.

It is a good idea to be mindful of the potential dental and gum related issues that you are more likely to face as you get older. This post will help you to identify any potential issues by identifying the riskiest problems, giving their symptoms and giving some tips (that you probably know already) about how to avoid these problems.

Possible Risks

The menopausal transition increases the risk of a number of issues with your teeth, gums, mouth and taste buds, ranging from dry mouth to full blown gum disease. The more severe oral health risks you may face include:
• Gum bleeding
• Bone loss/Osteoporosis
• Gum Disease
• Mouth Cancer

Gum diseases are more prevalent during menopause. They range from mild gingivitis, to more severe periodontitis, and more uncommon but serious acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, which can be life-threatening.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is probably the most common form of gum disease and results in inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. Gingivitis is one of many gum diseases that affect the health of the periodontium (those tissues that surround the teeth and include the gums, soft tissues, and bone). Chronic gingivitis leads to receding gums and can cause permanent damage to teeth. Gingivitis can lead to more severe periodontitis.

Osteoporosis

As we get older bone loses some of its ability to regenerate itself so it starts to weaken. This is a condition known as osteoporosis when the bones become quite fragile. It is often symptomless but excessive bone loss from your gums willcure menopause become noticeable as your face may take on a sunken appearance. It is made worse if you are missing teeth as the tooth acts as an anchor and helps the bone to regenerate. Dental implants can help you to stop this bone degeneration.

Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer is more prevalent in people as they get older. Mouth cancer is usually curable if it is identified at an early stage and has not yet spread outside the mouth. If it has spread outside the mouth, the chances of survival are significantly less. Mouth cancer is attributed to smoking and the consumption of alcohol in a lot of cases.

If you experience any issues with your gums during the menopause, it is best to speak with a dentist or GP. Although, it is likely that a visit to the dentist will be the only way to confirm any gum problems, it is a good idea to be mindful of the following symptoms:
• Sensitive or soft gums
• Swollen or painful gums
• A change in colour of your gums
• Gums bleed more easily than usual
• Tooth decay

Good Practices

To avoid dental problems during the menopause, the following good habits will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
• Brush twice daily and floss regularly. You should brush for at least two minutes at a time.
• Visit a dental hygienist for a professional clean twice a year.
• Visit the dentist regularly and discuss all problems there. It is important to let the dentist know about any new medications you are taking.
• Be vigilant about any changes in your mouth, to your teeth or gums.
• Eat healthy – dairy products, meat, fruit and veg are all good for your teeth and gums.
• Dental implants are a good way to keep the bone in your gums strong.

If you have maintained good oral health so far, you should not have too much to worry about. Keep up the good habits and maybe visit the dentist a little bit more to be safe.

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