With the onset of menopause, you might experience several unpleasant symptoms. Most people know about the hot flashes and changes to sleeping and eating habits, but one symptom that is lesser known is bad breath. If you are experiencing bad breath and are menopausal, here is what you need to know.
Why Does Menopause Cause Bad Breath?
During menopause, hormonal changes can impact every part of your body, including your salivary glands. Instead of producing the saliva that your mouth needs to avoid dryness, the hormonal changes can cause the production to dramatically slow. When this happens, a couple of changes to your oral health can occur.
One possible change is that you might start to experience bad breath. Without saliva there to help remove bacteria and plaque from your mouth, halitosis can occur. Unfortunately, no matter how much you brush and floss, the bad breath can continue.
Another possible change is that you could develop a gum infection. The increased bacteria in your mouth from the dryness could infect your gums and lead to other problems, such as cavities, tooth decay, and eventually tooth loss.
What Can You Do?
Although brushing and flossing might not help with the bad breath too much during this period, it is important that you continue to do so. The more proactive you are against the bacteria and plaque, the less likely it is that you will develop other oral health problems.
You also need to ensure that your teeth are being professionally cleaned in your dentist's office. Your dentist might recommend an additional cleaning until you are considered to be post-menopausal. Keep your dentist informed of any problems that occur, such as bleeding gums. Early detection is key in protecting your teeth throughout the hormonal changes.
In addition to these steps, you should talk to your dentist about prescribing an artificial saliva product. The product will help to keep your mouth moisturized and lower the chances of developing oral health issues.
You need to also focus on increasing your water intake. Drinking an extra glass of water daily can help with moisturizing your mouth. It will also help to wash away some of the harmful bacteria that could grow in your mouth.
It could take some trial and error to find the right treatment for the bad breath you are experiencing, but there is help. Contact your dental office to find out what other steps you could take to freshen your breath and help minimize the effects of menopause on your dental health.