Menopause and oral health

Menopause and oral health

Menopause is a condition when the primary functions of the ovaries stop. The primary function of the ovaries is to discharge ova and hormones. These hormones and ova eventually cause menses and also create the uterine lining. When menopause occurs, the woman does not experience menses or periods. Usually, menopause occurs between the ages of 40 - 50 but this is variable. Menopause is the indication of the end of the fertile phase of a woman.

Menopause significantly affects the oral health and hygiene for women. It has been observed that women become more vulnerable to periodontal disease after menopause. The basic reason behind this is the estrogen deficiency in the woman due to the menopause. The deficiency of estrogen leads to bone loss and inflammatory processes. Hence menopause sometimes leads to problemssuch as periodontal disease or osteoporosis. If these problems are not treated, they can lead to bone loss or tooth loss.

Estrogens are a group of compounds in the human body which are principally female sex hormones. The declining levels of estrogens in a human body eventually lead to bone loss, and this also includes tooth loss. In menopause, the levels of estrogen in a womans body decline and deficiency occurs. This is the basic reason for woman being more susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth loss after menopause.

Menopause also causes dryness of the mouth. Dryness of the mouth causes various dental problems as well. The teeth can easily become affected with bacterial infections, which again would be a reason for periodontal disease, tooth loss and dental caries.

Women, after menopause, should take special care of their oral hygiene. Frequent visits to the dentists are vital to have the teeth and gums examined. Proper and regular brushing and flossing of the teeth is also key in maintaining the health of the oral cavity.

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