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First for Women: MDs: Menopause Wreaks Havoc on Your Oral Health — 5 Ways to Keep Your Smile Healthy

By: Sarah Chavarria, Chief Executive Officer at Delta Dental of California and Affiliates

First for Women – You know menopause causes side effects like hot flashes, insomnia and dry skin, but did you know it can also impact your mouth? This information might seem obvious, but according to the results of a recent survey (more on that below), the majority of women are unaware of the link between menopause and oral health. Here, we explain how menopause affects dental hygiene and provide tips for preventing some of the most common oral bothers.

What women know about menopause and oral health

In Delta Dental’s Senior Oral Health and Menopause Report: Breaking the Stigma, 1,061 American women aged 50 and older answered various questions about their oral health and menopause transition. Considering the effects that menopause has on all aspects of well-being, you might think that most women involve their dentists in treatment, but the study’s findings show otherwise. In fact, only 2% of women surveyed said they had discussed menopause-related concerns with their dentist. Furthermore, an astounding 84% of those surveyed said they were unaware of how menopause affected their oral health. That’s despite 79% of respondents saying they’d noticed a change in the appearance of their teeth and gums with age.

So, why the disconnect? Several factors are at play, but the most obvious reason is that menopause conversations often focus on hormonal changes and physical health, rather than dental well-being.

Read the full article in First for Women.