Menopause and oral health

Menopause and oral health are closely connected. Oral health and hygiene are significantly affected by menopause.

Menopause

It 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 varies. Menopause is the indication of the end of the fertile phase of a woman.

Menopause and oral health

The declining levels of estrogens in a human body eventually lead to bone loss. This also includes tooth loss. Researchers indicated that women become more vulnerable to periodontal disease after the menopause. During menopause, the levels of estrogen decline and deficiency occur. Such deficiency of estrogen leads to bone loss and inflammatory processes. Hence, the menopause can sometimes lead to problems such as periodontal disease or osteoporosis. Left untreated, these problems can lead to bone or tooth loss.

It also causes dryness of the mouth which can lead to other dental problems. The teeth can easily become affected by bacterial infections. This, again, would lead to periodontal disease, tooth loss and dental caries.

Post-menopause women should take special care of their oral hygiene. Frequent visits to the dentist 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.