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Menopause and Dental Problems: 6 Habits to Avoid

Loss of estrogen in women causes dental problems

Maintaining good dental health should be a consideration for people of all ages, but particularly for women entering the menopausal transition.

Estrogen protects bones and tissues, the substances that teeth and gums consist of, therefore when its levels drop during menopause its ability to help maintain your dental health will also reduce.

So to improve estrogen efficiency, and avoid further weakening your , avoid these six bad habits.

1

Smoking

Smoking is linked to periodontal disease and other gum problems

Not only is smoking cigarettes linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, but also to periodontal disease. In a recent study, it was found that smokers are nearly four times more likely to get advanced periodontal disease than those who never smoked. It has also been found that pipe and cigar tobacco's effects are almost as damaging as cigarettes.

2

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum helps stimulate saliva production and prevent gum problems

Chewing gum helps stimulate the production of saliva, which is a natural cleanser. Just make sure that you are chewing gum that does not contain sugar because this can increase your risk of encountering cavities.

3

Stress

Stress can lead to higher levels of cortisol and damage oral health

Stress can cause people to turn to numbing agents like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, all of which can lead to higher levels of cortisol in the bloodstream. It is believed that higher cortisol levels can have an adverse effect on oral health.

4

Pill Popping

Some medication can cause gum problems

Not just illicit drug use, but abuse of prescription drugs can cause:

  • Blackened, stained, or yellowed teeth
  • Rotting, crumbling teeth
  • Eroded enamel
  • Buildup of plaque
  • Cavities and cracks in the teeth
5

Grinding Teeth

Grinding teeth can fracture them and lead to gum problems

Sometimes a byproduct of stress, teeth grinding, or bruxism, can lead to fracturing of the teeth.

6

Poor Nutrition

Sugar that is left to decay on your teeth can cause cavities, but avoiding it altogether is not the answer: If you deprive your mouth of certain nutrients, you may put yourself at higher risk of encountering more serious complications. Calcium, vitamin D, zinc, and antioxidants are all necessary for a healthy mouth.

For More Information

Talk to both your doctor and your dentist about what you can do to alleviate your uncomfortable gum symptoms. Poor lifestyle choices can often result in exacerbated symptoms, but they are not the only cause. If you are making healthy choices, and still experiencing severe symptoms, it may be time to consider possible alternative treatments. Follow this link to read more about alternative treatments for gum problems.

5 Tips for Relieving Gum Problems during Menopause

Oral health problems are a common complaint of menopause.

Sources:
  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause." November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007