How to Care for Your Dental Health in Menopause

How to Care for Your Dental Health in Menopause

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If you are going through menopause, chances are you already noticed how hormone level shifts inside your body affect your health. You could have symptoms like hot flashes, brain fog, weight gain, mood swings, and low sex drive. Apart from those, your oral health might suffer as well. It is not uncommon to have dry mouth, changes in taste buds, burning, or gum inflammation. That is why caring for your dental health is even more important in menopause. 

Take steps to have strong teeth and healthy gums in menopause
Take steps to have strong teeth and healthy gums in menopause

Dental Health Problems in Menopause

One of the things you can have is red, pale, and shiny inflamed gums that are pretty easy to notice. You may also have increased sensitivity to cold and hot drinks or food. Apart from that, your taste buds might have trouble – you will notice that some food has a strange taste, sometimes very salty or spicy, other times metallic.

If you have a burning mouth problem, you will feel a sensation in your lips, tongue, inside cheeks, and front of the mouth similar to burning. It is very unpleasant, because these parts will also be very tender or numb, which is why you will need to have it looked at by your doctor. Some people also have dry mouth when they do not produce enough saliva. As a result of that, you may find it hard to eat and swallow your food. 

You can find help for all of these symptoms after visiting your doctor. Most of then appear because of your hormonal shifts at that age. However, the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), as this study suggests, was not helpful for the prevention or treatment of oral infections (1). And apart from infections, you can also have teeth problems because of bone loss happening in menopause. Although your doctor can help, you should still take care of your oral health by practicing good oral hygiene. 

Tips on How to Care for Your Oral Health

Having healthy teeth and gums is not something that happens overnight. It takes your whole life to maintain oral health, but by practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can achieve it. Prevent problems by being mindful of your everyday actions, and choose right oral care products. Here are some tips that could help you care better for your oral health. 

Brush your teeth properly
Brush your teeth properly

Brush Your Teeth Properly

Doctors say you need to brush your teeth twice a day, but many people are being lazy and skip brushing before sleep. But it is crucial to brush to remove the plaque that has built on your teeth throughout the day. Apart from that, make sure that the way you brush is also the correct way. Brushing your teeth too fast is like not brushing them at all, plaque will still remain. Slow your brushing to remove all the plaque from your teeth so you can have healthy gums. 

Floss

Perhaps everyone brushes their teeth, but do many people floss? Not as many, of course. But flossing is almost equally important because it helps you remove the plaque between your teeth. You will also reduce inflammation and stimulate your gum tissue by flossing every day. Once a day is enough for general care. 

Use Mouthwash

You see a lot of mouthwash ads online, but do you use one at home? Many women do not know about the benefits of mouthwash for dental health. It works in three ways. First, it helps protect your enamel by reducing the amount of acid you have in the mouth. Second, it enables you to clean the areas of your mouth that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. And third, it gives your teeth minerals, which you might not have gotten from the toothpaste. 

Visit Your Dentist

Many people are afraid to go to the dentist because of their childhood fears. But just like with your overall health checkups, dental health needs to be checked regularly too. Visit your dentist for a checkup at least twice a year. They can spot things that do not bother you yet and treat them before they can become serious concerns. 

Visit your dentist for checkups at least twice a year
Visit your dentist for checkups at least twice a year

Probiotics for Dental Health

Probiotics are such versatile bacteria that people use them for many symptoms and diseases. And it seems that probiotics can be helpful for your dental health as well. Recent studies have found that these live bacteria work well alongside conventional treatments for oral health problems (2). Because they can improve the microflora in the mouth, these bacteria support the therapies and enhance improvement after the treatments. As a result, taking probiotics for some time after the treatment is complete will be very helpful. 

With probiotics containing good bacteria, they have the ability to reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the oral cavity. Thanks to this ability, they can also improve your body’s immune response to those bad bacteria. This study notes that probiotics are helpful for treating such oral infections as halitosis, periodontal disease, and dental caries (3). So, just like probiotics work to improve your gut bacterial balance, in the same way, they improve oral bacterial balance to fight off infections. 

Where to Get Probiotics for Dental Health

Eating probiotic-rich foods is your first step to taking control of your dental care and overall dental health and finding relief from symptoms of menopause. These foods are easy to find and combine with many meals you cook at home. Think such products as pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, live yogurt, kombucha, miso, and tempeh. They are all foods rich in probiotic bacteria to help you maintain your gut health and feel better in menopause. 

Eating probiotic-rich foods is your first step to taking control of your dental care and overall dental health and finding relief from symptoms of menopause. These foods are easy to find and combine with many meals you cook at home. Think such products as pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, live yogurt, kombucha, miso, and tempeh. They are all foods rich in probiotic bacteria to help you maintain your gut health and feel better in menopause. 

 

(1) P. Dutt et al. “Oral Health and Menopause: A Comprehensive Review on Current Knowledge and Associated Dental Management.”

(2) Robert Allaker and Abish Stephen. “Use of Probiotics and Oral Health.”

(3) Laetitia Bonifait et al. “Probiotics for Oral Health: Myth or Reality?”




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