When dealing with everything menopause can throw at you — hot flashes, mood swings, and intimacy issues, just to name a few — making sure your teeth are healthy is probably one of the last things on your mind. But it turns out, if you’re in any stage of menopause, you should try and make dental hygiene way more of a priority.
Although there’s no shame in having false teeth, most of us would probably like to keep onto our original set for as long as we possibly can. Common bone loss symptoms of menopause can make that especially difficult, though. The Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine explains, “The same processes [in menopause] that lead to loss of bone in the spine and hips can also lead to loss of the alveolar bone of the jaws [where our tooth sockets are], resulting in periodontal disease, loose teeth, and tooth loss.” Yikes, we’d definitely like to avoid any of those painful problems.
Thankfully, there’s no extreme measures you need to take in order to ensure your teeth stay right where they should be. The journal lists a few of the basics recommended by the American Dental Association: maintaining regular cleanings and examinations, brushing twice daily, replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, flossing, making sure to eat a balanced diet, and not smoking. We know dental upkeep can be a pain, but you probably don’t want to end up in your dentist’s office more often than absolutely necessary.
Another study from 2014 backs up the Cleveland Clinic’s reasoning that bone loss, especially for those battling osteoporosis, can have a negative affect on your teeth just like the rest of your body. They also recommend more studies to pinpoint more definitive dental guidelines for women going through menopause. We weren’t able to locate any new results in the past few years, but we can all do our best to keep our pearly whites as healthy as possible in the meantime.
Yes, that means flossing every day. Trust us, you’d much rather make that part of your daily routine than shell out tons of cash to pay dental bills over and over again.