Oral Health: 6 Issues To Look Out For

Oral Health

Oral health.

Did you know that gum disease is one of the 34 most common signs of the meno years?

Just as the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy can send us on a trip to the dental chair, so too can the fluctuating hormonal activity of perimenopause/menopause.

In fact, although it gets far less press than – say – hot flushes – problems with oral health during perimenopause is quite common.

Just as the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy can send us on a trip to the dental chair, so too can the fluctuating hormonal activity of perimenopause/menopause. Click To Tweet

Why Does Perimenopause/Menopause Cause Oral Health Issues?

As you know many of the pesky signs we suffer are due to fluctuating levels of estrogen as well as the natural ageing process. In fact, because the estrogen rollercoaster of the meno years is systemic, estrogen loss impacts not just the gums and teeth but the salivary glands, taste buds and jawbone as well.

It can also make our tastebuds less sensitive to sucrose (sugar), which is why some of us crave sweet foods.

Perimenopause can make our tastebuds less sensitive to sucrose (sugar), which is why some of us crave sweet foods. Click To Tweet

It’s a serious business because these oral health issues can lead to gum disease like gingivitis (early stage) or the more serious periodontal disease (advanced), which can lead to lost bone and tooth fall out.

What Type Of Signs Should I Look Out For?

  1. Bleeding when brushing
  2. A dry mouth (xerostomia),
  3. Receding gums
  4. Tooth breakage or loss
  5. Toothache
  6. A metallic taste in the mouth

Did you know? Gum problems can increase the risk of heart disease.

What Can You Do?

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily with a good toothbrush and paste.
  2. Have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
  3. Visit the dentist for a checkup regularly. It seems like a no-brainer but you’d be amazed how many of us put this off.
  4. Take up oil pulling which is great for killing oral bacterial naturally.
  5. Give up smoking.

How to Oil Pull

Oil pulling is taken from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and is said to whiten teeth, freshen breath, clear the skin and increase energy. Use pure coconut or sesame oil.

  1. Put one or two teaspoons of oil in the mouth
  2. Swish. Twenty minutes is optimum if you can make it, but try and aim for at least three to 10 minutes.
  3. Spit out and brush.

RELATED ARTICLE: BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.