Posts Tagged ‘burning mouth syndrome’

Dry Mouth During Menopause

Monday, May 12th, 2014

dry mouth during menopause

During menopause, many women suffer from dry mouth, a symptom that’s exactly what it sounds like: having a sticky, dry feeling in the mouth. While everyone has a dry mouth once in a while from being nervous or stressed out, dry mouth in middle-aged or older women is likely brought on by a change in hormone levels. The condition may cause trouble chewing, tasting or speaking, and though these symptoms sound alarming, rest assured that they can often be alleviated.

Explaining dry mouth
As a woman enters menopause, her body’s endocrine system undergoes a dramatic shift that results in a drop in estrogen and progesterone, according to health experts. These fluctuating hormone levels impact the salivary glands, often leaving menopausal and postmenopausal women with a persistent feeling of dryness in the mouth.

In all its forms, dry mouth is triggered by the lack of saliva. Saliva plays a bigger role in oral hygiene than you might think, as it works to moisten our mouths and wash away food debris from meals. Think of it as a natural cleansing agent – controlling bacteria and protecting the teeth against plaque buildup.

Yet without enough saliva, the mouth turns into a breeding ground for bacteria. Not only can dry mouth cause discomfort along with bad breath, it can also increase your risk for gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay and other mouth infections, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. What’s more, your body might not be getting the nutrients it needs if you cannot chew and swallow certain foods properly.

According to a study from the National Institute of Health, roughly 20 percent of people experience dry mouth, medically known as xerostamia. In menopausal women, estrogen levels fall and, in turn, reduce the moisture in the mucus membranes lining the mouth and nose.

Burning mouth syndrome
Some people complain of burning in the mouth too, since the nerve endings become more sensitive. Menopause may also lead to burning mouth syndrome (BMS), a frustrating condition that results in a burning sensation in the tongue, lips and mouth. While it is a very rare problem, the main demographic who grapples with it is middle-aged to older women.

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Take Care of Your Mouth!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The best way to take care of your mouth bones is by maintaining good diet, fitness, and oral health habits. However, there may be more to it than that. The Academy of General Dentistry says that more than 90% of all systemic diseases show up orally.

Dentists can be the first to point out a problem. Poor nutrition can lead to various diseases as well as poor oral health. By practicing good fitness and healthy eating, you can avoid cavities, periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Another problem that can be easily corrected is bruxism, better known as teeth grinding.

According to studies, an estimated 80-90% of the population grinds their teeth to a certain degree. stress causes the majority of these people to grind their teeth; however, it can result in the teeth wearing down and chipping. It could also cause sleep deprivation, headaches and jaw problems. What are some solutions to this problem?

1) Stop chewing gum
2) Exercise (i.e. take a hike)
3) Stop drinking beverages with caffeine (caffeine causes anxiety)

Someone who grinds their teeth may eventually need dental repair. If you hear popping noises coming from your jaw while eating, that may be a sign of jaw joint problems resulting from bruxism. Also, be careful of clenching your jaw.

Stress and Oral Care

Some people are so used to stress that they do not notice when it is happening. Emotional stress can cause oral health problems including: canker sores, dry mouth, lichen planus (lacy white lines, mouth sores, or red areas), burning mouth syndrome, and temporomandibular (jaw) joint disorders.

With stress, you are more likely to get cavities, gum (periodontal) disease, and bruxism. If you feel that may be under a high amount of stress, try to be more vigilant than ever with your oral care.

Brushing Teeth

If you do not brush food debris, sugars, and acids on your teeth, they can erode your tooth enamel and cause decay. Plaque, an invisible bacterial film, can build up, harden, and turn into tartar (which can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist). Eventually, this can cause tooth loss and periodontitis.

Toothbrushing Tips

  1. Brush your teeth 2-3X a day and/or after every meal
  2. Use the right toothbrush (soft with rounded bristles, long enough to reach the back teeth)
  3. Change your toothbrush every 3 months or less
  4. Floss everyday
  5. Eat healthier foods/snacks

Toothbrushing Steps

  1. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 angle against your gums
  2. Don’t miss any spots (start from one end and go to the other)
  3. On the outer/inner surfaces, vibrate the brush inhalf-tooth-wide strokes towards the gumline instead of scrubbing
  4. Clean your molars with a back-and-forth motion
  5. On the inside of your front teeth, hold the brush vertically with up-and-down strokes
  6. A complete brushing takes about 3 minutes!
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