Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal fluctuations put her at higher risk for various oral health complications like gum disease and tooth loss. The estrogen levels in the body drop during menopause, which is a natural part of aging for women, and as a result women approaching or going through menopause need to be aware of the negative effects that menopause has on their oral health in order to learn how to counteract them.

Gum Disease

Gingivitis, or gum disease, is the most common problem that menopausal women encounter because the changes that dropping estrogen levels cause in the mouth create the perfect conditions for developing gum disease. Research shows that estrogen levels affect the gums, salivary glands, joins, and jawbones. As a result, the mouth gets drier without proper production of saliva, the weakened gums are easily infected without the saliva to routinely clean the mouth, and, in extreme cases, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

Symptoms

It is important to recognize the symptoms of gum disease early so that action can be quickly taken to prevent further development of the infection. Symptoms include:

  • Sensitive gums

  • Swollen gums

  • Gum recession

  • Dry gums

  • Discolored gums

  • Gum pain or burning

  • Bleeding gums

  • Pus between the gums and teeth

  • Bad breath

Prevention

Gum disease is not inevitable. If you take care of your teeth diligently and regularly, it is possible to keep your oral health in good shape. Here are some tips for preventing gum problems:

  • Brush twice a day

  • Floss once  day

  • Professionally clean your teeth every six months

  • Be transparent about all your dental and oral health problems with your dentist, even if you don’t think it’s “that big of a deal.”

  • Don’t smoke

  • Avoid drugs

  • Manage your stress

  • Eat a more balanced diet

 

If you have any further questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe today.