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Healthy Aging

Midlife Minute

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 05/19/2011
Last Updated: 11/08/2018

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A reader sent this question:

I would like to know if perimenopause affects your teeth. Mine are just falling apart on me suddenly.

My research yielded a few answers. First, the mere fact of aging puts wear and tear on your teeth, so it's debatable whether perimenopause or the fact that you're older is affecting your teeth. Chances are it's a combination of both.

Having passed through perimenopause myself, I can attest to this: It's a time when we might be feeling a wee bit more stress than usual (the reasons are myriad; one that comes to mind is the fact that your sleep can often be disrupted by hot flashes, which makes for a very unhappy, stressed-out person). And stress can lead to teeth-grinding (or bruxism, in medical terms), which in turn leads to more compromised teeth—prone to fracturing, loosening or even loss. What's next? Visits to the dentist for things like root canals, bridges, crowns or dental implants.

Then there are the other oral conditions that are sometimes related to menopause, like decreased saliva flow (leading to more decay, since saliva helps wash away harmful bacteria); gums that look dry or shiny, bleed easily and appear anywhere from abnormally pale to deep red; changes in taste perception especially in salty, peppery or sour. Another thing about menopause: that accompanies menopause (and aging, too) could be associated with periodontal disease.

For information on oral health, .


...something else to look forward too! oiy...

So is there anything you can do (eliminating stress would be great but that's probably not the easiest fix), more calcium maybe?

Last year, I switched to a woven floss, and I love it. My "gum scores" at the dentist have improved, and I've been an avid flosser for years.

I hadn't thought about the saliva issue. That's a good point.

My teeth did not wait for menopause to fall apart. I felt that having children did a number on my teeth. After each child, and I had three, I had to have about three crowns. When I had Lyme Disease five years ago, I got periodontal disease. Ugh! Teeth are so important that now I preach, floss, floss, floss!

I had a similar experience when I had my children. A LOT of dental appointments, crowns, etc. followed.

Ugh. Getting old is simply not a good proposition!

Great subject! I never thought of this and my teeth are also falling apart all of a sudden.

It seems that, like everything, one must adapt to change in the body. Teeth, gums - just accepting that we all do makes me feel less alone!

I'm going to see an entodotist next month to find out whether I'm a good candidate for a tooth implant. I want so much to be a good candidate! Sad, isn't it?

I want you to be a good candidate, too. I've had 2 implants and it's a good way to go, in my opinion.

Menopause affects everything, doesn't it? It's like we suddenly have this new body to deal with. And yeah, my teeth practically deteriorated somewhere into my 40s. It's crazymaking.

Yes, it affects a lot - but then again, so does the passage of time. All we can do is try to stay on top of it by preventive maintenance and a good attitude.

I escaped teeth problems during menopause. But everything else in my body went south.

Lucky you, no problems with your teeth. That's something to celebrate!

This doesn't surprise me, but it does remind me I'm overdue for a dental appointment. These days, it's all about prevention and maintenance.

I highly believe that menopause can also cause problems with our teeth. When our estrogen level decrease, our entire body, including mouth, will gets drier. And if our mouth is dry, bacteria can grow, causing tooth decay and making your gums bleed or recede. Not to mention aging also affects our teeth drastically.


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