Dentist Journal

Oral Changes During Menopause

Women most commonly undergo menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. This is accompanied by a decline in your hormone levels resulting in changes to your body. Unsurprisingly, the mouth is not spared during this time of change. You may notice burning sensations, dry mouth, altered taste and inflamed gums.

It is not unusual that during your journey through menopause that you become more sensitive than normal to hot and cold foods and drinks. In fact, everything may taste quite different. People report that food can taste very salty, peppery, sour and bitter or even have a metallic taste. These altered sensations are part of a condition known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS) which sounds as bad as the name implies.

As there is no apparent cause – other than the hormonal fluctuations you experience during menopause, BMS can make the inside of your mouth feel very tender to whatever you are tasting. If this is what you are experiencing, come in to speak to us and we can suggest an appropriate course of action.

Often accompanying BMS is dry mouth or xerostomia. This condition develops when you don’t produce enough saliva in your mouth. As a result of this, eating and swallowing becomes difficult.People can also experience xerostomia as a result of medications they may be taking and coupled with menopausal changes your enjoyment of food can be diminished.

There are many products available to help with dry mouth including chewing sugar free gum and Biotene mouth wash.Due to the drop in oestrogen levels, osteoporosis can not only affect your bones, but also your teeth and gums. This can lead to the loss of bone in jaws causing the gums to recede at the same time. To make matters worse, inflamed gums occur as a result of a condition known as menopausal gingivostomatitis. If left untreated, this will speed up the loss of gum support around your teeth.

As always, there is always hope and you don’t need to endure this alone. Regular visits to your dentist in East Bentleigh will mean many of these conditions can be well managed throughout menopause.