Following discussions with several ladies online, it seems quite a few of us suffer from lesser known menopause symptoms. One such symptom is dry mouth. When your mouth dries out bacteria can grow there so this may result in halitosis, dental cavities or other problems. There are plenty of reasons why women experience dry mouth later in life, including certain prescription drugs or lack of hydration. Menopause may also be to blame: The mucus membranes in the mouth are also loaded with oestrogen receptors, so as the body produces less of this hormone, your mouth may feel less moist. Hormonal changes can also cause altered taste sensations or even a burning feeling in the mouth.
Below is some useful advice taken from the internet that might help with this problem.
I personally have found drinking plenty of water and fresh fruit, a good dental hygiene routine and cutting down on alcohol consumption have helped resolve this problem. I also chew gum rather than drink extra water (see below). However, we are all different and if you are worried about this symptom, you should go and see a doctor.
Dry mouth or Xerostomia (medical term used for dry mouth due to lack of saliva) occurs when there is not enough saliva to keep the mouth wet, or when there is reduced or absent saliva flow. The treatment for xerostomia depends on several factors, such as whether there is underlying condition or disease, or is there is certain medications that may be causing dry mouth. Once the cause is found these steps can be taken to minimize its effect:
- Prescribed medications to stimulate saliva production can prove to be effective.
- Take care of oral/dental hygiene with plaque removal and treatment of gingival infections, inflammation and dental caries. Brushing teeth and flossing regularly can help.
- Sipping fluids (non-carbonated, sugarless)
- Chew gum containing xylitol.
- Use a carboxymethyl cellulose saliva substitute as a mouthwash (mouthwashes which contain alcohol should be avoided).
- Avoid sugary foods or drinks.
- Avoid acidic foods or drinks, dry foods, spicy foods, astringents, excessively hot or cold drinks, alcohol consumption, caffeine (consumption should be kept to a minimum), chewing or smoking tobacco.
- Eat foods like such as carrots or celery to help with residual salivary gland function.
- Breathe through the nose to avoid drying of mouth.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to a bedroom (this may be helpful to reduce dry mouth symptoms that develop during sleep).
In some women, however, the feeling of chronic dry mouth may, indeed, be related to dehydration. This dehydration, even when drinking plenty of water during the day, can occur as a result of chronic night sweats. If you suffer from night sweats, the excessive loss of bodily fluids can leave you feeling parched and thirsty for most of your waking hours.
When suffering from dry mouth along with night sweats, ask your doctor about remedies you can use to alleviate the complications of night sweats. In addition, be sure to keep a glass of water next to your bed at night. As you deal with night sweats during the evening, try to drink plenty of water to replenish the lost fluids. Overtime, you may find that your night sweats diminish as your body replenishes electrolyte balance and, in turn, your chronic dry mouth complications will dissipate as well.
In addition to water, always be sure to get plenty of healthy foods during the day. To keep your body adequately hydrated for longer periods of time, eating fruits that are rich in water content is always recommended. The key to reducing these complications of thirst and dry mouth lies in reading your body’s warning signals and adhering to changes. Dry mouth, therefore, could be a sign of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance for which treatment of night sweats is needed.
Sources: The Wisdom of Menopause, by Christiane Northrup, pp. 145-147.
Further websites with information on dry mouth:
Many women don’t realize that there is a connection between the hormonal changes during menopause and depression. It is likely to be caused by shifting hormone levels and is more likely during the perimenopause.
You should rely on your doctor to diagnose whether you have clinical depression that requires medical treatment. In those cases antidepressants are used and can be very effective. But for women who have symptoms of depression but aren’t clinically depressed, a natural approach can provide them with the help they need.
- Think positive. This could be the start of a new and exciting chapter in your life – no more worrying about contraception, more time for yourself after years of putting the children first.
- Watch your diet. Sugary foods cause your blood sugar levels to rise and then fall rapidly. This can make you irritable.
- Consider adding more soya-containing foods to your diet (soya beans, tofu, soya milk all count). Japanese women, who have a diet high in soya, which contains ‘phyto-oestrogens’, appear to suffer less around the menopause.
- Exercise regularly. This raises natural body levels of endorphins, a ‘feel-good’ chemical.
- Celebrate you! You are still yourself, and you’re beautiful. You have a wealth of experience and wisdom you never had in your youth.
‘D’ is also for dry vagina. This is one of those ‘silent problems’ that women are not keen to discuss. According to the website Women’s Health Concerns, only a quarter of women with this problem seek treatment. Read more about it by looking at Women’s Health Concerns where they tackle this subject and offer solutions.
You can read about depression, dizziness, dancing, drums, diet, difficulty concentrating and dread in Grumpy Old Menopause (And be entertained by almost an entire chapter of jokes.)