When you read about menopause, you often know of symptoms like hot sweats and mood swings. You may not be aware of the problems that menopausal changes can have on your gums and ultimately your teeth. The hormonal changes that take place during menopause, as opposed to puberty and pregnancy, can have a more permanent effect on the gums so extra care is needed. The drop in oestrogen can cause a variety of mouth problems, the most serious of which are bone loss and gum disease.
Read on for a guide to how to protect your teeth during the menopausal years.
Prevention Is Key
Making changes in your lifestyle can make all the difference when protecting your gums during menopause. If you're not already doing so, start brushing twice daily and flossing. Eating a diet with less sugar can be a good defence against many of the symptoms of menopause and will help keep your teeth healthy.
Getting a healthy daily dose of calcium through foods and supplements will help keep your bones strong. A healthy diet that includes foods that can contribute to the promotion of oestrogen levels may help treat all the symptoms of menopause including gum and teeth issues. These foods include apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, soy, wheat and yams.
Regular Checkups and Cleaning
No specialist dentistry is necessary during menopause. If you have regular general dentistry check-ups, your dentist will be able to spot any problems that occur early enough to treat them before they get out of hand. Likewise, regular professional cleaning at least twice yearly should help prevent bacteria buildup. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your dentist and hygienist so that they can offer advice. You should also make sure they are aware of any medication you are taking.
Natural Remedies for Hormone Deficiency
The cause of the problem during menopause is hormonal and addressing this can help prevent and treat problems with the gums. If you'd rather not use HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), then consider natural phytoestrogen supplements such as black cohosh. They contain plant-based oestrogens.
You should consider consulting a herbal specialist about whether phytoestrogen supplements are suitable for long-term use. They may influence how well your body produces its own oestrogen, which will be counter productive. Your specialist might suggest you take them for short term relief only.
There are a variety of supplements available such as Macafem that work by stimulating natural oestrogen production. They do this by supporting the health of the pituitary and endocrine glands. You should research which of these supplements is the most suitable for you.