While not a welcome experience, a woman undergoes a distinct transition in hormones around the age of 45 that is known as menopause. Menopause marks the end of menstrual cycles for females. However, the drastic changes in hormone levels as the body transitions can cause a host of unwanted symptoms, including those that affect the mouth. Any fluctuations in hormones, such as during puberty or pregnancy, can affect the gums and soft tissues that support your teeth. However, menopause can bring on more permanent changes so it is important to pay attention. The condition of your gums has a substantial effect on your oral health as well as your body health.
The support and function of your teeth relies on the living tissues, gums and jaw bone that surround them. Not only can hormone levels during menopause increase your risk for gum disease, but they can also impact the health and density of your jawbone. All bones in your body have bone cells that need to be continuously replaced in order to replenish the structure of the bones. Unfortunately, any disruption in the balance of hormones can also disrupt the remodeling of new bone cells and the resorption (decomposition) of old bone cells. A woman in menopause should pay careful attention to bone health during this transitional life stage, as it can impact her jaw, teeth and overall smile.
Is it too much to tell your dentist that you are going through menopause? Not at all. In fact, any health condition, prescription use or illness can give your dentist key insight as to what may be going on inside your mouth. You may need to come in more often for a professional teeth and gum cleaning or you may need to take certain supplementation to maintain strong bone health during menopause. At Park South Dentistry, we value the importance of tailoring your dental care plan to meet the needs of your current life stage. While we may not be able to eliminate your hot flashes and mood swings, we can certainly help you maintain a healthy and confident smile in the process!