Mouth Changes May Be Related to Menopause

Women can endure many bodily changes during menopause, and some of these changes can show up in the mouth, where fluctuations in hormones can lead to unfavorable oral symptoms.

Menopause, which signals the end of female fertility, is a normal part of the aging process. Women experiencing menopause should discuss any mouth changes with their dentists, as the hormonal fluctuations of menopause may be responsible for some of these symptoms, while other factors may contribute to or cause them.

Here are some changes and potential problems in the mouth that may be associated with menopause:

  • Burning mouth syndrome. It’s a common cause of intense pain and can affect the tongue, lips, palate, gingival and areas of denture support.
  • Dry mouth. Decreasing estrogen can cause mouth dryness.
  • Mucosal changes. Gums can bleed easily and appear pale, dry and shiny.
  • Periodontitis. Women can become more susceptible to this destructive form of gum/periodontal disease following menopause.
  • Osteoporosis. Bone loss in the mouth may be related to osteoporosis.
  • Eating disorders. Psychological distress related to menopause can lead to improper eating habits in some women, including intentionally vomiting. These habits can cause trauma to the mouth, including erosion of tooth enamel.

The American Dental Association has oral health care resources specific to life stages on its consumer website, MouthHealthy.org.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

More Articles You May Like

Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.

Keep your teeth clean with an oral health routine.

Establishing an oral health routine is important for a healthy mouth. Try one of our oral health products to help you establish a schedule.