“Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouths. They may notice discomfort in the mouth, including dry mouth, pain…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Oral Health Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Dental Care/Health/Hygiene
  • Gum Problems
  • Oral Care/Health/Hygiene
  • Menopause Oral Care/Health/Hygiene

Definition

What is oral health?

DotS the definition of oral health may vary. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition is:

“WHO defines oral health as “a state of being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing””.2

Diseases and Conditions

Is there an association between oral health and various diseases and conditions?

In Oral Health: A Window To Your Overall Health – What Conditions May Be Linked To Oral Health? the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Endocarditis…
  • Cardiovascular Disease…
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications…
  • Pneumonia
Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:

  • Diabetes…
  • HIV/AIDS…
  • Osteoporosis…
  • Alzheimer’s Disease…
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome)”.3

Menopause

During menopause, what can some women experience with their oral health?

Yes. The (United States) Academy of General Dentistry note:

Menopause Oral Health
“During menopause, some women can experience dry mouth, a burning sensation and changes in taste. Gums can become sore and sensitive”.4

The American Academy of Periodontology also note:

“Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouths. They may notice discomfort in the mouth, including dry mouth, pain and burning sensations in the gum tissue and altered taste, especially salty, peppery or sour. In addition, menopausal gingivostomatitis affects a small percentage of women. Gums that look dry or shiny, bleed easily and range from abnormally pale to deep red mark this condition. Most women find that estrogen supplements help to relieve these symptoms”.5

Bone Health

Is there an association between oral health and bone health?

The North American Menopause Society explain:

“Your dental health and the health of your bones are closely related. So, although problems with teeth and gums may be more common at and after menopause, don’t think of them as normal. With bone loss, the tooth sockets in your jaw deteriorate, leading to receding gums and exposing the roots, which makes you sensitive to cold”.6

Oral Diseases

What are risk factors for oral diseases?

In Oral Health: Key Facts according to the WHO:

  • “Behavioural risk factors for oral diseases are shared with other major NCDs, such as an unhealthy diet high in free sugars, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol”.7
What is NCDs?

NCDs may be an abbreviation for Noncommunicable Diseases.

Oral Hygiene

What is the drill about good oral hygiene?

The Academy of General Dentistry note:

“As a woman, you need to adhere to good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible, and floss thoroughly each day. To help avoid problems, your dentist may request to see you more frequently during stages of your life when hormone levels are changing”.8

The Mayo Clinic explain:

“To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
  • Avoid tobacco use
Also, contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health”.9

Dentist

What should we be sure to tell our dentist?

The Mayo Clinic note:

“Tell your dentist about the medications you take and about changes in your overall health, especially if you’ve recently been ill or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes”.10

The NAMS explain:

“Take good care of your teeth and your bones. Get regular dental checkups and follow your dentist’s advice about flossing, brushing, and rinsing. And talk to your doctor about bone health”.11

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Oral Health?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Oral Health?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted:

Sources

  1. Gum Disease and Women: Menopause and Post-Menopause. American Academy of Periodontology https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-women Accessed: 11 March 2020
  2. Oral Health. 24 September 2018. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health Accessed: 11 March 2020
  3. Oral Health: A Window To Your Overall Health – What Conditions May Be Linked To Oral Health? 04 June 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  4. Why Is Oral Health Important for Women? Stages of Women’s Oral Health – Menopause. Reviewed: January 2012 Academy of General Dentistry https://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=341&aid=1369 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  5. Gum Disease and Women: Menopause and Post-Menopause. American Academy of Periodontology https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-women Accessed: 11 March 2020
  6. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. My gums are starting to recede, and it hurts my teeth to eat anything cold. Is this normal? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 11 March 2020
  7. Oral Health: Key Facts. 24 September 2018. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health Accessed: 11 March 2020
  8. Why Is Oral Health Important for Women? Why Is Oral Health Important for Women? Reviewed: January 2012. Academy of General Dentistry https://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=341&aid=1369 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  9. Oral Health: A Window To Your Overall Health – What Conditions May Be Linked To Oral Health? How Can I Protect My Oral Health? 04 June 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  10. Oral Health: A Window To Your Overall Health – What Conditions May Be Linked To Oral Health? 04 June 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 Accessed: 11 March 2020
  11. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. My gums are starting to recede, and it hurts my teeth to eat anything cold. Is this normal? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 11 March 2020
Topic Last Updated: 20 March 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 March 2020
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