Menopause and Teeth Concerns: Understanding the Link
If you’ve noticed your teeth shifting or experienced other surprising changes in your mouth during menopause, you’re not alone.
While we’re all familiar with the more common symptoms like hot flushes and mood swings, it’s less understood how menopause can impact your oral health.
In this post, we’ll explain the connection between hormones and teeth sensitivity. You’ll start to understand a range of common menopausal oral health issues. Then we’ll offer some tips to keep your smile glowing during this phase of life.
Why Do Women Experience Perimenopause Mouth Problems?
Perimenopause marks the transition to menopause. At this time, your hormone levels will start to fluctuate, with a notable decrease in oestrogen.
Oestrogen plays a significant role in preserving oral health. It safeguards the bones that support your teeth and maintains healthy gums. As oestrogen levels decline, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to various oral health concerns.
Receding Gums During Menopause
As oestrogen levels drop, some women develop a common type of gum disease called gingivitis. The gums become inflamed and sensitive, and you may experience bleeding.
Without treatment, gingivitis can lead to gum recession and put your teeth at risk of sensitivity and decay.
During menopause, pay attention to any changes in your gum health. It’s always best to seek professional advice if you’re experiencing symptoms.
Menopause and Teeth Shifting
We don’t often talk about the movement of teeth during menopause. Don’t worry – you’re not imagining it!
As your hormones fluctuate, a decrease in bone density can cause a slight reduction in the size of your jawbone. You might then notice a subtle shifting of your teeth, which can result in crowding or spacing problems. This can feel concerning, especially if you’ve had orthodontic treatment in the past.
It’s a good idea to reach out to an orthodontist as soon as you notice changes. They can check if intervention is necessary before your teeth move further and minimise the length of any potential treatment. You’ll soon have your usual straight smile back – or a slightly straighter one!
Clear aligners are an efficient and discreet option for women experiencing menopause-triggered teeth movement. Our leading orthodontists have a wealth of experience providing Invisalign and other invisible braces options. In fact, braces for adults have never been more popular.
Other Teeth & Mouth Issues That Can Occur During Menopause:
- Dry Mouth (Xerostomia): Diminished saliva flow during menopause can make speaking and eating less comfortable. Our advice is to stay hydrated, visit the dentist regularly, and rest assured that it won’t last forever.
- Burning Mouth Syndrome: This condition causes a lingering scalding or burning sensation in the mouth. If you’re experiencing pain without any visible signs of damage, speak to your dentist or GP.
- Strange Taste in the Mouth: Hormonal changes can affect your taste buds and saliva production, leading to a strange taste in the mouth. As this is often linked to a dry mouth, it can sometimes be managed with increased hydration and other lifestyle changes.
- Teeth Sensitivity: It’s common for teeth to be more sensitive to hot and cold substances during menopause. Keep a careful eye on your mouth to check for signs of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Osteoporosis: With a lack of oestrogen to maintain your bone density, menopause puts you at greater risk of Osteoporosis, which can lead to tooth loss. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about the strength of your bones.
Five Ways To Protect Your Oral Health During Menopause
- Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene: It goes without saying that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. This limits the risk of gum problems during menopause and keeps your mouth clean and healthy. We recommend using a fluoride mouthwash between brushings. Flossing is also crucial. An electric water flosser can be a great option if you’re looking to upgrade your oral hygiene routine.
- Visit Your Dentist on a Regular Basis: Schedule frequent dental check-ups and hygienist appointments to catch any potential problems early and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Keep Hydrated: Drink lots of water throughout the day to keep a steady flow of saliva. A dry mouth is often worse when you wake up, especially if you get night sweats, so keep a water bottle on your bedside table during the night. It’s also a good idea to moderate your alcohol intake.
- Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): For severe menopause symptoms, including oral health issues, you might want to speak to your GP about whether HRT could help. It’s important to consider the risks as well as the benefits and make an informed decision.
- Consult With an Orthodontist: In some cases, teeth movement can cause issues with your bite or alignment. Speak to an orthodontist today to find a discreet solution to teeth misalignment related to menopause.
When Should You Speak to an Orthodontist?
If you’ve spotted teeth movement, changes in your bite, or difficulty eating during menopause, it’s worth seeking advice from an orthodontist as soon as possible.
An orthodontic consultant will listen to your concerns, assess your oral health, and, when required, suggest a personalised treatment plan. With prompt intervention, treatment can be fast and affordable.
Navigating Menopause with Oral Healthcare
Menopause is a natural but complex phase of life. With some additional care and attention to oral health, navigating through this time can be that bit more comfortable.
If you’re looking for advice, we’ll be happy to help. Considering aligners or braces to restore your smile? Book a free consultation today.