Menopause is a new stage in a woman’s life when she experiences changes in her body due to a decline in circulating blood estrogen levels.
A decline in estrogen levels can affect the secretion of saliva in the mouth. Saliva plays an essential role in lubricating the oral environment and reducing dental decay and periodontal diseases. Thus with the reduced salivary flow, one can experience dry mouth, taste alteration, and even mouth soreness. Frequent hydration with water helps; reduce intake of coffee or sodas as these can exacerbate the feeling of dry mouth. In more severe cases, one can purchase off-the-shelf moisturising oral gel, and specialised mouth rinses for dry mouth.
With the loss of protection from the reduced salivary flow, one is at higher risk of dental decay and possibly periodontal disease; thus, optimum plaque control is paramount. This will include a twice-daily meticulous tooth brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and interdental cleaning.
Here are 5 tips for better dental and general health:
- Good oral hygiene practices and regular visits to the dentist
- Eating well with adequate vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium supplements and anti-oxidants
- Hydrate with water, minimise caffeine consumption
- Reduce stress. Stress may result in higher cortisol levels, lowering your immunity and increasing the risk of oral infections
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
As a dentist, I believe that prevention is better than cure. Hence, regular visits to the dentist are essential to allow early detection of dental decay or periodontal disease.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to menopause and would like to schedule a dental checkup, don’t hesitate to visit our clinic today. Our team of dental professionals can provide personalised care and advice to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile throughout your life.