During menopause, hormonal changes can affect every part of your body. These changing estrogen levels can affect the jaw bones, tongue, and salivary glands, and may lead to various symptoms and added risks to your oral health.
In fact, estrogen deficiency can put menopausal women at a greater risk for periodontal disease, receding gums, loose teeth, and a condition known as burning mouth syndrome. When estrogen levels decline it can result in systemic bone loss. Therefore the same issue that causes osteoporosis in other bones, can also lead to loss of bone in the jaws. Furthermore, recent studies indicate that women with severe osteoporosis are three times more likely to have tooth loss. When jaw bone is lost, the result is often gum disease and tooth loss.
Low estrogen levels can also contribute to dry mouth due to decreased saliva production, reducing one of the body’s first defenses to help rid the mouth of bacteria. Moreover, oral tissue can be weakened, leaving the mouth more susceptible to developing gingivitis.
Post-menopausal women are also seven times more likely to experience burning mouth syndrome. These symptoms can consist of burning, tenderness, numbness, or tingling sensations, typically on the tongue, although other parts of the mouth can be affected, although with no discernible cause.
However, despite the changes that menopause can bring, good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist can help. If you would like to find out more about how menopause may be affecting your oral health, and how Dr. Heidi Finkelstein at My Plantation Dentist can help you have a healthy smile at any age, contact us today to schedule your appointment for an examination, at 954-584-1030.