Women's Health Week: Menopause
If you’re going through menopause, which most women undergo between the ages of 47 and 55, you may have noticed a difference in your oral health such as inflamed gums, burning sensations, altered taste sensations and dry mouth.
You may also find you are more sensitive than normal to hot and cold food and drinks, and that everything tastes a little odd, either really salty, peppery or sour, or bitter & metallic. This can be a by-product of what’s known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS).
With no definitive cause, other than likely being brought on by the sort of hormonal changes you experience during menopause, BMS can make the front part of your mouth, lips, inside cheeks and tongue feel like they’re burning, tender, hot & scalding, numb or tender.
Another symptom you may experience is a dry mouth. This occurs when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth which naturally makes eating and swallowing difficult, as well as increasing your risk of tooth decay (saliva keeps the germs that cause decay in check).
Osteoporosis can also affect your teeth and gums post-menopause. While you might commonly think of it as something that causes the bones in your arms, legs and back etc, it can cause the bone in your jaw to recede too, leading to gum and tooth loss.
There’s no need to suffer through these hormonal fluctuations and changes .
Seeing your dentist regularly throughout menopause will ensure that many of these conditions can be managed effectively.