Menopause, the unavoidable ending of a woman’s reproductive cycle, occurs, on average, between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, women may become more susceptible to other seemingly unrelated health issues, ones that can affect our teeth.
Blame it on hormonal changes, the natural aging process and perhaps even decreased saliva if the individual is on new medications.
The changes involved due to menopause can make your mouth more susceptible to bacteria, and, as a result, mean a higher risk of gum disease, inflammation and decay.
Saliva plays a big role in helping us maintain our oral health. It helps naturally wash away food after eating, neutralizing acid that could harm the enamel on your teeth.
A lack of saliva from various causes, known as dry mouth or xerostomia, can become problematic. Steps you can take to combat dry mouth and promote more saliva production include drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum, and avoiding alcohol.
Reduced Bone Density
Decreases in estrogen levels can contribute to bone loss not only in the spine and hips, but elsewhere, like your jaw, increasing the risk of oral health issues, even tooth loss.
If you are contemplating dental implants but are concerned about bone loss, we can offer bone grafting to increase the jawbone strength to ensure the success of an oral health investment like dental implants.
Enhanced Maintenance is Critical
Menopause (and any time, for that matter) is a good time to make sure you stay on top of your daily oral care, by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, making sure you attack hard-to-reach areas that could harbor bacteria. Anti-bacterial mouthwashes may be helpful. And seeing your regular dentist and periodontist as suggested is, of course, very important.
Check out Delta Dental for more tips on oral health and menopause, and contact us today for more information on possible bone grafting techniques we offer to help prepare you for dental implants if needed.