Surprisingly, bad breath and dry mouth is a common problem for women going through the menopause, and the severity might actually fluctuate as your hormone levels rise and fall.
Halitosis (bad breath) often referred to as Dry Mouth is when lack of saliva causes dry mouth and in turn bad breath. Mucus membranes in the mouth are loaded with oestrogen receptors, so as the body produces less of this hormone, your mouth may tend to feel less moist. You may also notice that you have altered taste or a burning feeling in the mouth which can occur from hormonal changes. It has also been suggested by a study that it is due to the rise is salivary cortisol
Gum disease can become a long term problem post-menopausal women due to changes in oestrogen levels. This hormone imbalance causes inflammation and bone loss, conditions that can directly contribute to periodontal (gum) disease.
During the stages of menopause this can often become a troublesome symptom for many women; the post-menopausal being one to which oral health risks increase.
However, don’t despair. Here are 6 ways to prevent halitosis and dry mouth during menopause:
(Taken from WebMD)
1. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. If you have dentures, they should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
2. See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
3. Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products.
4. Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.
5. Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odours.
6. Antiseptic mouth-rinse products available that instead of simply masking breath odour kill the germs that cause bad breath. (You can buy a number of mouthwashes over-the-counter that claim to eliminate bad breath. However, keep in mind that many of these mouthwashes generally provide only a temporary way to mask unpleasant mouth odour).
Other symptoms of menopause beginning with the letter ‘B’ include a burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, or a bad taste in mouth. A burning tongue is caused by hormonal imbalance and affects up to 40% of women going through menopause. It is exactly what it says and is the same as the sensation you get when you drink a hot beverage or eat food that is too hot for your tongue.
The most effective treatments for the above seem to be lifestyle changes, including drinking more water which can stimulate saliva production and relieve some of the symptoms.
Read more about burning tongue from Dr. John Lee’s Hormone Balance Balance Made Simple, by John Lee by clicking on the link HERE.
Other symptoms include, breast tenderness, bloating, brittle bones and body odour, all of which are covered in my book along with some top ways to help you cope with them.