Menopause: Essity reveals some of the 62 common symptoms
The menopause typically hits people who have periods between the ages of 45 and 55.
Due to declining levels of hormones their periods will stop and can also bring about symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and brain fog.
These side effects can also occur during the perimenopause, although periods will still continue.
According to one dentist this time in a person’s life can also cause changes in the mouth.
Doctor Zayba Sheikh, from private dental practice Rüh Dental, warned that people need to be extra vigilant with their oral health if they suspect they are approaching or in the menopause.
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“Menopause can affect the body in so many ways, but quite often matters of the mouth are still overlooked,” said Dr Sheikh.
“However, this can easily be swerved if a woman is aware of her oral health around this time of her life, has regular dental check-ups and has a dentist who understands her current condition.
“Night sweats, brain fog and hot flushes normally preoccupy the journey, and oral health is a forgotten topic when it should be a priority as well.”
She warned that the menopause can bring about issues such as dry mouth, gum disease and even tooth loss.
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“One of the main issues during this time of a woman’s life is a drop in oestrogen levels which trigger numerous symptoms, including a dry mouth,” explained Dr Sheikh.
“And a dry mouth can bring a raft of issues, because germs will stick around for longer resulting in more bacteria lurking in teeth and gums.”
“Gum disease is another factor as hormones plummet,” she said.
“It can cause gums to deteriorate which may result in bleeding, tenderness, mouth sores, receding gums, and bad breath.
“Gums that are under the strain of severe hormonal changes can also cause bite issues which can lead to pain when eating and chewing.”
Oestrogen dips also contribute towards a decline in bone mass, putting teeth at even further peril.
“A drop in oestrogen can affect the jawbone and bone density, raising the risk of loose teeth and even tooth loss.”
What to do if you experience symptoms
“If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist,” advised Dr Sheikh.
“And it’s crucial you see them regularly so they can monitor any changes. You may be referred for further tests if they suspect you are experiencing bone loss.”
She added: “Avoid sweet and acidic foods that can have a negative impact on teeth, this includes alcohol which is full of sugar and contributes to a dry mouth.
“Quit smoking and vaping, too. Nicotine, the main component of vapes and cigarettes, restricts blood flow to your gums thus causing an increase in the risk of gum disease.
“When mixed with propylene glycol, formaldehyde and benzene (another chemical often found in vapes), this risk increases further still and could eventually lead to multiple tooth loss.”
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