Those with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease.
During menopause and other times of hormonal fluctuation, women are at a greater risk of dental problems, including gum problems. During menopause, this is most commonly associated with changing estrogen levels and the natural aging process.
Because of this increased risk of dental and gum problems, it is essential that menopausal women understand the symptoms, causes, and treatments of dental and gum problems. Read on to learn more about gum problems during menopause.
About Gum Problems
Gingivitis, the medical term for gum disease, develops when bacteria proliferate and build up between your gums and teeth, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, and bleeding. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems like periodontitis.
Did You Know?
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs often prescribed to treat osteoporosis. Unfor tunately, these drugs carry a rare but serious risk of osteo necrosis or dead jaw.
Menopause also increases the risk of bone problems, which can affect the teeth and jawbone. The risk of osteoporosis, which can target the teeth and jaw, significantly increases following menopause.
Gum problems can be characterized by myriad symptoms. Please read on to learn how to identify these symptoms, their causes, and what you can do about them.
In addition to regular visits to the dentist, to maintain good oral hygiene - and therefore decrease your chances of a gum infection - you should practice good dental health at home. This entails brushing your teeth twice daily, as well as regular flossing and regular use of a mouthwash.
Oral health is important to the body as a whole, not just the mouth, as the mouth can be the first line of deference against bacteria and viruses. Click the following link to learn more about oral health practices you can incorporate into daily life.
Symptoms of Gum Problems
While many women are aware of some of the symptoms associated with gum problems, it is important to highlight any potential warning signs.
Did You Know?
Many people first detect gum problems because their toothbrush bristles turn pink while brushing, which is a sign that their gums are bleeding with slight pressure.
If a woman experiences these or any other abnormal gum problems at any time, consulting a dental care professional or primary care physician is recommended.
While a visit to the dentist's chair is usually the only sure way to determine the cause of gum problems, it is very important to be informed of the possible causes of gum problems, especially during menopause. Read on to discover the common causes of gum problems during menopause.
Causes of Gum Problems
While many factors can contribute to gum problems, the most common cause of gum problems during menopause is fluctuating estrogen levels. Estrogen affects many oral tissues, including the gums, salivary glands, and jawbones.
Did You Know?
Hormonal changes in menopause can make a woman's taste buds less sensitive to sucrose, leading to an increased desire for sweet foods.
During menopause, as the body prepares to shut down the reproductive functions of the ovaries, estrogen levels begin to spike and fall erratically, eventually leading to a significantly decreased production of estrogen. This drop in estrogen can increase the risk of gum problems, tooth loss, and osteoporosis.
In addition to hormonal causes, other factors can increase the risk of gum problems. These should be discussed in greater detail with a qualified dental professional. Read on to learn more about how to treat gum problems that occur during and after menopause.
Are you experiencing receding gum lines? Believe it or not, one of the causes may actually be menopause. Decreasing levels of estrogen can lead to a number of changes in the health of your mouth. Click the following link to learn more about how menopause can affect your gums.
Gum Problems Treatments
Preventing gum problems
When it comes to gum problems, prevention is key. A woman can make the following lifestyle changes to prevent or mitigate the effects of gum problems during menopause:
Brush teeth twice daily and floss once daily
Have teeth professionally cleaned every six months (or more frequently if recommended)
Get regular dental checkups
Discuss all dental and gum problems with a dentist or dental hygienist
Inform dental professional of any medications being taken
Inform primary care provider of any dental changes, including gum problems
Getting to the root of the problem
While these measures can go a long way toward treating and managing gum problems, they are unable to address the specific root cause of hormonal imbalance that occurs during menopause. Luckily, there are safe and natural ways to address this problem of hormonal imbalance.
Natural treatments can help a woman manage and reverse gum problems, as well as other menopause symptoms. Natural remedies, especially in combination with the lifestyle adjustments, are typically the first recourse in treating gum problems and other menopause-related symptoms.
It is generally recommended that women who suffer from mild gum problems during menopause and wish to treat them begin with lifestyle changes, then move onto alternative medicines and finally, look to medications or surgery when other methods are ineffective. Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for gum problems in these three categories.
There are several different forms of medicine for gum infections. In severe cases, antibiotics are typically necessary, but if the infection has not progressed to that level, at-home remedies or over-the-counter solutions may be better suited. Find out more about antibiotics and other medicines for addressing gum infections.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of another, more serious health matter, so it is important to talk to your doctor or dentist if you encounter this condition. While natural remedies can bring relief and stop bleeding, it might be necessary for you to administer prescribed medication your health provider will discuss this with you.
Dutt, P. , Chaudhary, S.R. & Kumar, P. (2013). Oral Health and Menopause: A Comprehensive Review on Current Knowledge and Associated Dental Management. Annals of Medical & Health Sciences Research, 3(3), 320-323. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.117926
Ficarra, G. & Baninati, F. (2007). Bisphosphonate - related osteonecrosis of the jaws: the point of view of the oral pathologist. Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, 4(1), 53-57. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781184/
López-Marcos, J.F. , García-Valle, S. & García-Iglesias, A.A. (2005). Periodontal aspects in menopausal women undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Medicina oral, patología oral y cirugía bucal, 10(2), 132-141. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15735546
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2013). Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm
Saluja, P. (2014). Comparative Evaluation of the Effect of Menstruation, Pregnancy and Menopause on Salivary Flow Rate, pH and Gustatory Function. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 8(10), ZC81-85. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/9935.5071
Updated on Dec 23, 2015 Daily Steps to Prevent Gum Infection during Menopause Gum infections can be an annoying, worrying symptom no matter in which stage of life they develop. During menopause, however, the risk of developing them is heightened due to fluctuating hormone levels. This article describes five day to day steps women can follow in order to prevent gum infections.
Updated on Nov 23, 2013 Menopause and Dental Problems: 6 Habits to Avoid People of all ages should be conscious of their oral health and avoid all well-known risk factors. For menopausal women however, avoiding triggers like smoking and stress becomes especially important. For more information on oral health during menopause read our article on the six habits to avoid during menopause.
Updated on Feb 06, 2013 5 Tips for Relieving Gum Problems during Menopause Gum problems are a common side effect of the menopause transition. Maintaining your oral health can become tricky once estrogen levels begin to decline. However, there are options. Click on the following link for more information on the causes and treatments for gum problems during menopause.
Updated on Sep 05, 2011 A Shopping List for People Wanting to Prevent Gum Problems in Menopause Due to hormonal fluctuations that occur during menopause, women are more likely to experience gum problems during this stage of their lives. Luckily, there are steps women can take to prevent gum problems from occurring. Read on to learn about some of the products that will prevent gum disease.