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But one of the most unexpected and unusual symptoms for many women is dental issues.
Declining oestrogen levels contribute to loss of bone mass in the spine and hips and the jawbone. This raises the risk of getting loose teeth or even losing teeth.
Gum disease is another problem that can happen during menopause. Gums can deteriorate as a result of the loss of oestrogen. This can cause all sorts of symptoms, including:
You may also start to experience a dry mouth during menopause. This can increase your risk of gum disease and cavities. When your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to wash away oral bacteria, germs can accumulate inside your mouth, raising your risk for gingivitis and tooth decay.
It’s difficult to know how many women experience dental issues that are specifically related to menopause, but they do become more frequent at this time.
If dental issues are due to a lack of oestrogen, they can occur at any stage of the menopause. This can continue into postmenopausal life, as the long-term effects of lack of oestrogen become more apparent, for example, in osteoporosis causing jaw problems.
It’s important to see your dentist regularly and book an appointment if you start to experience any of the symptoms listed above. If the dentist is concerned that you could have bone loss, they may refer you for further tests. Read more about osteoporosis here.
Most importantly, take good care of your teeth and gums. You can get specific advice about oral hygiene from your dentist, but keeping up a strict routine of brushing your teeth and flossing is a must. Other ways to treat dental issues include:
If you’re worried about dental problems, you should see your GP or dentist. If you would like to discuss your symptoms in the context of the menopause (and you have been to your dentist), book an appointment with our menopause clinic.
Dr Clare Spencer
Registered menopause specialist, GP and co-founder
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