Each year in the United States, more than one million women begin their transition through menopause, which can be a period of incredible change. While hot flashes, night sweats, and bone loss might steal much of the spotlight, this hormonal transition casts a wide net that includes your dental health.
Whether you’re looking ahead to menopause or in the thick of it, the team here at Affordable Dental East under the expert direction of Dr. Ben Mohrman, wants to draw your attention to a few ways menopause can influence your oral health.
There are about 178 million Americans missing at least one tooth, and 40 million missing all their teeth. The primary culprits behind these eye-opening numbers are gum disease and tooth decay, both caused by bacteria.
The environment in your mouth becomes more friendly to bacteria when you pass through menopause, and the balance of hormones changes in your body. As a result, you can become more susceptible to dental caries and periodontitis, and, left unchecked, these bacteria can do some real damage that leads to tooth loss.
Half of postmenopausal women will have osteoporosis, a condition characterized by loss of bone density. While fractures are a primary concern with postmenopausal women, as dentists, we understand their impact on your dental health.
More specifically, this bone loss can affect your jaw bone and threaten the stability of your teeth.
Another potential side effect of menopause is a lack of saliva, which leads to a dry mouth. About 39% of women in menopause report dry mouth and count bad breath and tooth decay among its possible complications.
As if the potential side effects we outline above aren’t enough to get your attention, there are other oral symptoms associated with menopause, including:
Some women even report changes in how things taste, sometimes due to hormone changes.
While menopause may be inevitable, we certainly don’t believe the side effects have to be. Our goal is to help you stay one step ahead of menopause or age-related changes in your oral health through oversight and close monitoring.
You need to do your part by keeping up with your twice-annual cleanings and dental exams with us. These visits are important and allow us to detect any changes or trends so that we can take swift action to prevent a small problem from becoming large.
If you have more questions about menopause and your oral health or would like to visit us, we invite you to call our office in Indianapolis, Indiana, at 317-395-3624 or book an appointment through our website today.