October 28th, 2013
Menopause is a season where women tend to feel the many changes that occur. Many focus on the bodily changes and usually overlook differences that could be found in the mouth, where hormones can lead to unfavorable consequences. While this process is completely natural, signaling the end of female fertility, women should be aware of the mouth changes they are experiencing. Here are some of the potential changes and problems that have been associated with menopause:
Dry mouth: Because of the hormone fluctuations that occur during the time of menopause, the decreased levels of estrogen can lead to mouth dryness. Without sufficient saliva in the oral cavity, teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay and other infections. Saliva also plays an important role in the chewing and breaking down of food, allowing nutrients to enter the body.
Burning mouth syndrome: This condition tends to affect the tongue, gums, and lips, and even inside the cheeks of the mouth. The burning sensation primarily comes forth from problems with taste and sensory nerves, but can also be the consequence of dry mouth, nutritional deficiency, and allergic reactions to certain foods and medications. It is important to look out for these symptoms and to consult a dentist on possible ways to ease the pain.
Periodontitis and mucosal changes: Gum disease is also something to look out for when hitting menopause. Mucosal changes can also results in changes in appearance of gums, where they tend to look more pale, dry and shiny. Gums also tend to bleed more due to these changes.
Eating disorders: Going through menopause can take a psychological toll on some women, resulting in inconsistent and improper eating habits. These eating habits can be very detrimental for teeth, leading to erosion of tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is stripped down, teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and they are more susceptible to cavities.
While these are problems that may arise during menopause, it is always possible to discuss possible solutions to these issues. Dentists should be notified of these changes, and they can aid in alleviating these symptoms and suggesting viable treatment plans. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org