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Well+Good: Six surprising menopause symptoms your dentist can spot (even at a regular cleaning)

Well+Good – Managing the influx of symptoms you get during menopause can feel like a game of medical whack-a-mole. When one symptom is finally under your control (maybe you bought cooling sheets to help with hot flashes or lubricant to help with dryness), another may pop up—even ones that aren't often attributed to menopause by doctors or your fellow menopausal friends. One of those things? Dry mouth.

“During menopause, the body’s estrogen levels decline, leading to a decrease in saliva production,” says Daniel Croley, DMD, chief dental officer of Delta Dental of California and Affiliates. “Saliva is your mouth’s natural buffer—it cleanses the mouth, neutralizes acids, and protects against tooth decay and gum disease. Less saliva can lead to increased tooth decay and altered taste," he adds.

While dentistry difficulties can happen at any time before or during your menopause transition, many of us don’t know about the connection. A recent survey conducted by Delta Dental found 84 percent of women aged 50 and over are unaware that discomfort in and around your mouth is often linked to menopause.

Read the full Well+Good article.