You may recognize hot flashes, weight gain and irregular periods as some of the most common hallmarks of menopause. But did you know that menopause and bad breath also go hand in hand? In fact, any fluctuations in your hormone levels can disrupt your oral flora1 and put you at greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Fair or not, that means women need to be even more vigilant about their oral health than men, especially during menstruation, puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
When your hormone levels are bouncing around, your saliva production is affected, which in turn could cause dry mouth. This is bad news for your oral health, since the saliva helps cleanse your mouth and rid it from the bacteria. If bacteria and plaque are allowed to build up in your mouth, you can usually bet on bad breath to follow. During menopause, you also start to lose bone density more rapidly, which affects your jaw and can lead to tooth decay and bad breath.
There is no way around menopause – but you can prevent bad breath. Make sure to have your teeth cleaned professionally every six months, or at least once a year, and check with your dentist if you have any concerns about your breath and oral health. Good oral hygiene is key to staying confident with your breath throughout menopause. If you suffer from dry mouth, ask your doctor about artificial saliva products. If you are not sure if you have bad breath or not, this simple and quick bad breath self-test can help you find out.
1 Krejci, Charlene B. / Bissada, Nabil F. Women's Health: Periodontitis and its Relation to Hormonal Changes, Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes and Osteoporosis. Oral Health Prev Dent, 10 (2012), No. 1, Page 83-92