Menopause and Dental Health Changes

01/06/2016by artedentalConsejos y Educación DentalOdontologíaTips and Dental EducationUncategorized0

You feel a little weird these days, even a little scared because you notice that lot of things have changed in your body. You have been told that, during menopause, women suffer from hot flushing and itchiness, but actually, you haven’t researched too much because:

To get there…

It’s still so far…!

And I’m not in menopause,

Or am I?… Wait,

Lets see, Am I… older than 45?

Then, it is possible.

It’s ok, women live longer now, so in the end, this moment has to come someday. Our body is regulated by an endless amount of hormones secreted by different endocrine glands, and suddenly there are some glands that vary their concentrations substantially. It’s normal that we need a relatively long adaptation period. We experienced a similar stage during our first menstrual period but reversed, and we survived!

It’s quite possible that some of the strange things you feel inside your mouth are related to menopause though you haven’t realized, and probably there are others you don´t feel but also happen. Let’s try to explain which changes are related to your dental health. Some of them are annoying so, if you don’t feel them, don’t try finding them. On the other hand, there are others that will force you to pay more attention to your hygiene and diet.

What happens to your health in menopause?

These are some of the most frequent disorders, though not all need to appear, neither with the same intensity nor at the same time.

Symptoms related to the oral mucosa:

Menopause usually affects to all mucosas, specifically sexual hormones receptors and estrogens have been found at salivary glands and the oral mucosa, so the changes in hormonal levels affect directly to our oral health. Oral disorders related to mucosas may include:

  •  Dry Mouth (xerostomy), our mouth gets dry as the level of saliva and its composition decreases.
  •  Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a mild or intense burning or itching sensation mainly associated to post-menopausal women. It usually happens on the tip and sides of the tongue, and the interior side of the lips. The appearance of the mucosas is the same at this stage, so some years ago many doctors (mainly men) thought that it was a psychological problem. This disorder is also related to other pathologies and the use of antidepressant medication. Fortunately, when it is associated to menopause usually diminishes. The best solution is keeping the mouth moisturized by using gels and specific tooth paste if necessary.
  •  Sense of taste alteration and general annoying feeling in the mouth.
  • Reduction of the oral mucosa.

Periodontal disorders:

  •  Gingival recession. The gums, which hold the teeth, weaken and retract.The result is that the part of the tooth which joins together the crown with the root is exposed. Tooth sensitivity appears and there is more probability for root canal disease.
  • Gingivitis. It’s characterised by the separation of the external layers of the gums, leaving the nerve endings in the soft tissues unprotected, a very painful and annoying situation. If it’s not treated, gingivitis may lead to severe periodontitis and consequently, to the loos of the tooth.
  • Alveolar bone loss and resorption. Generalised osteoporosis produces bone mineral density of the alveolar crest  reduction. It may lead to teeth insertion strength loss and so to dental crowding and separation.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders. This joint opens and closes the mouth. In menopause, disorders like ear pain or headaches may appear.

Tips to minimise disorders in menopause

Vitamina D, por si necesitas una excusa para irte a una playa de Tenerife
Vitamine D, in case you need an excuse to come and visit the beach in Tenerife

 

Firstly, keep calm. Some of the dental health disorders associated to menopause are transitory and will decrease eventually. However, they may be really annoying. Here you can find some tips to bear them as well as possible.

  • Consuming foods highest in vitamin C, E and A helps our skin and mucosas, as well as consuming foods highest in calcium helps our bones, without forgetting sun baths everyday with no sunscreen to synthesize vitamin D, essential to assimilate calcium. Our doctor can value if we have to take vitamin supplements.
  • Keeping our mouth moisturized. Drinking lots of water or using certain gels and specific tooth paste like Kin Hidrat Gel, if necessary.
  • Using brushes with soft bristles to avoid hurting our gums, as they are more sensitive now.
  • Dental cleaning is really important, at least three times a day.
  • Visiting our dentist regularly so he checks any disorder in mandibular joints.

In case you feel any symptom, don’t hesitate and speak to a professional. In Artedental Clinic we can help you with any problem or simply by clarifying your doubts. Don’t forget you will be attended by highly qualified professionals, and we will prepare a previous free budget, without any obligation.

Picture via http://www.webtenerife.com/

Clínica Dental Artedental
Do not forget to brush your teeth properly

 

 

 

 

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