Menopause is described as the time when a woman’s menstrual cycle ceases to occur. It comes about when a woman gets to the ages ranging between 40 and 50. The onset of menopause is usually indicated by the absence of a menstrual period for a time frame of one year. All women the world over will go through menopause at some point in their lives. It is taken as the mark of the transition to middle age by most. It also signals the end of a woman’s childbearing years.
One of the critical considerations to be kept in mind is that menopause has a great deal to do with changing hormones and the associated changes these may trigger within the body. The onset of menopause can also have many side effects.
Symptoms of menopause include:
Hot flushes. Characterised by short bursts of uncomfortably high body temperatures, especially around the upper body.
Changes in the general characteristics of your period. They may become longer or shorter, and even more or less dense.
Dryness of the vagina. This may cause pain and discomfort when having sex
Mood swings. You observe sudden and dramatic changes in your moods.
Sleep issues. You may notice that you have trouble falling asleep, and once you do, you cannot seem to stay asleep.
Fluctuating weight. As your hormone levels drop, you may find it more challenging to regulate your body weight. Weight gain may occur, particularly around your waistline. Your metabolism rates will also be lower, thus facilitating this easier weight gain.
Decreased hair health. Your hair can be significantly affected by the drop in hormonal levels. Some women have reported thinning hair while others have been dismayed to experience complete hair loss.
One of the more unexpected effects of menopause has to do with the teeth and gums. As your body’s natural levels of estrogen begin to drop, so do the levels of moisture all over your body. The inside of your mouth is not an exception. This increased dryness then becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that is harmful to the health of your mouth. With a drier mouth comes the possibility of blood loss or receding gums or decaying teeth.
In addition to ailing teeth, your gums could be prone to inflammation and bleeding. This can cause great discomfort in your mouth, making it necessary to take medication that will mitigate the issue.
Decaying teeth are caused by the absence of saliva that the body uses in the mouth as an anti-bacterial agent. Without enough saliva brought on by dryness caused by the occurrence of menopause, your mouth will not be able to flush invading bacteria away in an effective manner. The bacteria will then affect the health of the teeth, causing them to rot easily.
Observations have been made that indicate the likelihood of the occurrence of a state known as Burning Mouth Syndrome. This condition is characterised by a burning sensation in the lips, tongue, cheeks and the front part of your mouth. This burning sensation can cause changes in the way that various foods taste as you are chewing. You can also have a metallic taste in your mouth when nothing is inside.
It is easy to overlook abnormalities in your gums and teeth that appear as symptoms of menopause because these effects are not widely known or considered to be possibilities. Nevertheless, any changes to your body that are observed around the time you suspect that menopause has begun should be documented and treated accordingly. This includes issues that are to do with your oral health.