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Does Dry Mouth Go Away After Menopause

What Causes Menopause Dry Mouth

The many many symptoms of menopause – Dr RenĂ©e goes through them!

Menopause is one of the main causes of dry mouth, which is also known as xerostomia.

Menopause dry mouth can cause a sore, dry feeling in the mouth, throat and lips, as well as frequent thirst, and problems with hoarseness. It can also sometimes cause a burning sensation in the mouth and tongue .

As a woman approaches menopause, levels of the hormone oestrogen start to decline. This hormone is responsible for helping to regulate levels of fluid in the body. Falling levels of oestrogen can cause the mucus membranes in the mouth and nose to become thinner and drier, and can affect the amount and quality of saliva being produced.

As well as keeping your mouth moist and helping you to chew and swallow, saliva also helps to control bacteria, protecting your teeth against decay and infections.

Changes in the saliva can give you a bitter taste in the mouth, cause problems with everyday activities like chewing, tasting, swallowing, and talking. It can also cause potentially embarrassing problems with oral hygeine such as bad breath or dental problems.

What Can I Do To Prevent The Development Of Oral Health Problems

Following these tips will help:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Floss at least once a day.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional oral examination and cleaning.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid sugary or starchy snacks.
  • Ask your dentist if he or she thinks you should use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
  • If you have dry mouth, ask your dentist about treatments for this condition, such as artificial saliva.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/25/2018.

References

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What Are Causes And Symptoms Of Hormonal Changes That May Affect Oral Health In Women

There are five stages in a womens life during which changes in hormone levels make them more susceptible to oral health problems puberty, the monthly menstruation cycle, when using oral contraceptives, during pregnancy, and at menopause.

Puberty: The surge in production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to bacterial plaque. This causes the gum tissue to become red, tender, and swollen, and more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.

The monthly menstruation cycle: Due to the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, some women experience oral changes that can include bright red swollen gums, swollen salivary glands, development of canker sores, or bleeding gums. Menstruation gingivitis usually occurs a day or two before the start of the period and clears up shortly after the period has started.

Use oforal contraceptives : Women who take certain oral contraceptives that contain progesterone might experience inflamed gum tissues due to the bodys exaggerated reaction to the toxins produced from plaque. The most profound changes in the gums are seen in the first few months after starting the birth control pills. Newer birth control pills, however, have lower concentrations of the hormones, which lessens the inflammatory response of the gums to dental plaque.

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Use A Vaginal Lubricant Or Moisturizer

Lubricant can provide moisture and reduce friction in the vagina, and it is usually applied right before sex. Lubricant is not absorbed into the body and can be purchased over-the-counter at a pharmacy. Usually, water-based lubricant is recommended because oil-based lubricant tends to break condoms and also has a higher risk of causing vaginal infections.

Vaginal moisturizers are used on a regular bases to provide moisture to the vagina and are absorbed by the body. They are not used before sex. Vaginal moisturizers can be purchased over-the counter at pharmacies.

Some vaginal moisturizers contain estrogen, but these need a prescription. Estrogen replacement has been found to greatly reduce many menopausal symptoms. Estrogen replacement can be taken in many different forms, not just in a moisturizer. It is important not to use estrogen containing vaginal moisturizer before sex because the hormones can negatively impact your partner’s health.

Symptoms Of Burning Mouth Syndrome

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Some people with BMS report symptoms appearing suddenly. For others, they may develop gradually over time. Typical symptoms of BMS include:

  • Burning feeling in the mouth, tongue, or lips
  • Dry mouth
  • Bitter or metallic taste
  • Loss of taste

BMS may occur every day, or it may come and go. Some people wake up with pain and it lasts all day. Others wake up with little pain but it gets worse as the day progresses. Regardless of the pattern, the symptoms may last for months to years.

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What Is The Link Between Hormones And Women’s Oral Health

Women have an increased sensitivity to oral health problems because of the unique hormonal changes they experience. These hormonal changes not only affect the blood supply to the gum tissue, but also the bodys response to the toxins that result from plaque build up. As a result of these changes, women are more prone to the development of periodontal disease at certain stages of their lives, as well as to other oral health problems.

Conditions That May Cause Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can also be caused by several health conditions, such as:

Its also important to brush and floss your teeth daily and to get a dental checkup twice per year. Good oral care can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can result from dry mouth.

If your dry mouth is caused by an underlying health condition, you may require additional treatment. Ask your doctor for more information about your specific condition, treatment options, and long-term outlook.

Your doctor will likely review any medications youre taking to see if any may be causing your dry mouth. Your doctor may change one or more of your prescriptions, or they may recommend that you change your dosage.

Your doctor may also prescribe artificial saliva or medications to increase saliva production in your mouth.

Therapies to repair or regenerate salivary glands may be available in the future to treat dry mouth, but a 2016 review indicated that further research is still needed in this area.

Saliva has many functions. Due to its anti-bacterial proteins, one of the many purposes of saliva is to help protect your teeth from harmful bacteria, and to keep your teeth healthy and free of cavities.

Having a dry mouth allows cavity-causing bacteria to flourish and grow.

To prevent tooth decay due to dry mouth, you can take the following actions:

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What Are The Unusual Signs Of Menopause

Changing hormone levels during the perimenopause and menopause can affect different areas of your body, including your brain, gut, muscles and joints. This is why menopause symptoms can be so different and wide-ranging, explains Dr Aleem Qureshi, Healthily Clinical Lead and London doctor.

Apart from the more well-known symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and brain fog, you may also get anxiety, cold flushes and formication which is a sensation of insects crawling under your skin as well as joint pain, a burning mouth, feelings of anger, bloating and heart palpitations, says Dr Qureshi.

Fortunately, symptoms of the menopause can be treated and managed using medicines and self-care. However, some symptoms may cause more pain and discomfort than others a doctor will be able to give you advice on your treatment options.

Here are 9 of the more unusual symptoms you may experience during perimenopause and after the menopause .

Dry Mouth Syndrome Treatment

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Sometimes dry mouth syndrome can be easily fixed if you by stopping taking the medicine that is causing it. However, you should not make changes to your medication without first consulting your doctor.

Your doctor will also recommend products to keep your mouth moist and to protect against tooth decay, such as mouth washes, moisturisers or artificial saliva. There are also medicines available to stimulate the salivary glands to produce saliva.

It is important to treat problems in the mouth caused by dry mouth syndrome, such as thrush, mouth ulcers and dental problems.

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Other Factors That Can Cause Dry Mouth

The menopause transition isnt always responsible for dry mouth. Other causes include:

  • Dehydration from not drinking enough, from sweating a lot or from being unwell
  • Anxiety a common symptom is dry mouth
  • Medicine check the leaflets of any medicine that you are taking
  • Breathing through your mouth especially at night can mean that you wake with a dry mouth
  • Some cancer treatments
  • Medical conditions diabetes and a less common condition called Sjogrens syndrome can also cause a dry mouth

What About Conventional Medicines

It is always worth getting your symptoms checked by a doctor, as a dry mouth may be caused by an underlying health condition such as an autoimmune disorder. Additionally, a dry mouth can be a side-effect of a number of drugs, and so if you are taking medication, check with your doctor that this is not causing your dry mouth, and ask if there is an alternative treatment.

A doctor may prescribe mouth sprays and gel which act as lubricants or artificial saliva. There are also certain drugs known as sialogogues which can be prescribed to treat this symptom.

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Is Dry Mouth A Symptom Of The Menopause

Yes, it can be. It’s one of these surprising symptoms that very often isn’t linked to the menopause. On the whole, it’s caused by the hormonal changes experienced at this time. The mouth is one of our mucous membranes in the body, just like the vagina, the digestive tract, the bladder, the lungs, and the eyes.

These can start to dry out in the menopause because of low oestrogen levels. It can also affect the gums. Some women find that their gums will start to bleed much more easily, or that they start to recede. Other women sometimes find that it can affect their tongue too.

So, between all of these, dry mouth can cause some really uncomfortable symptoms during the menopause that can sometimes be difficult to resolve.

Does Menopause Affect Teeth And Gums

Sore Throat

Drop in estrogen levels further results in the loss of bone density. Even the jawbone remains prone to the bone loss causing tooth loss and other dental issues. Gums start receding and become extremely sensitive. They may bleed due to brushing as well. The patient needs to approach the dentist without any delay for treatment and must inform the dental care expert about menopause so that menopause mouth symptoms treatment can be offered accordingly.

Long, loose teeth and exposed roots are the most common symptoms indicating receding gums. With time, the gum tissue loosens up and forms packets that collect bacteria. Thus, it requires immediate treatment. The dentists might recommend non-surgical procedures like deep cleaning, plaque removal, or surgical options like soft tissue graft, regeneration, open flap scaling.

When it comes to the causes of receding gums menopause happens to be one of the top five reasons. Women who belong to the age group 47 to 55 need to give special attention to their oral health as hormonal changes harm oral health.

Gums also turn pale and dry due to the decreased blood flow during various phases of menopause. The concerned infection is known as menopausal gingivostomatitis.

Remember, ignoring gum diseases can leave the door open for oral cancer, Alzheimers disease, and heart diseases.

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How Do You Know You’re In Postmenopause

Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if you’re in postmenopause based on your symptoms and how long it’s been since your last menstrual period. In some cases, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample and check your hormone levels to confirm you’ve gone through menopause. Remember, you’re not considered to be through menopause until it’s been over one year since youve had a period.

Continue Learning About Dry Mouth

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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Other Causes Of Dry Mouth Due To Menopause

Many common medications have the unfortunate side effect of decreasing saliva flow and creating a dry mouth. Some of the medications that can cause a dry mouth are as follows.

Anti-allergy medications

Anti-allergy medicines are supposed to help you with dealing with your allergies. However, these miraculous medicines have serious and frustrating side effects. They can cause mouth, throat, and nose dryness. Also, these medications dry up your saliva, and if you dont actively do something about it, you could end up having oral problems.

You can easily treat the mouth dryness that anti-allergy medications cause. You can do this by chewing gums or candy that dont have sugar. Alternatively, you can put ice in your mouth and let it melt. However, if the dryness doesnt stop, consult your doctor, as you could have serious oral health challenges if your mouth is dry for such long periods.

Some asthma medications

Some inhalers may cause dry mouth. For example, when you use a beta two agonist inhaler, you are likely to get a dry mouth. This type of inhaler inhibits the growth and production of saliva to about 30%. Corticosteroid inhalers that help prevent attacks from asthma also influence mouth dryness. When your use this inhaler, not all of the dose you take in gets to your lungs. The others are longer in your oral cavity, thereby slowing down saliva flow and altering the way food tastes in your mouth.

Some cough and cold medications

Antidepressants And Antipsychotics

Sedatives

When Should I Call My Doctor

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If any of your postmenopause symptoms bother you or prevent you from living your daily life, contact your healthcare provider to discuss possible treatment. They can confirm you have completed menopause and are in postmenopause.

Some questions you might ask are:

  • Are these symptoms normal for people in postmenopause?
  • Is there treatment for my symptoms?
  • Is hormone therapy still an option?
  • What can I do to feel better?

If you experience any vaginal bleeding during postmenopause, contact your healthcare provider to rule out a serious medical condition.

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Do People In Postmenopause Lose Interest In Sex

No, not all people lose interest in sex after menopause. Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex can make sex less pleasurable. Using a vaginal lubricant can help with dryness. Some people are less interested in sex because of other symptoms like depression or feeling tired. If your feelings about sex have changed, ask your healthcare provider for help.

The Burning Mouth Syndrome

One of the most commonly highlighted symptoms during menopause is the burning mouth syndrome. Patients often feel burning sensation along with a bitter taste throughout the mouth. The burning sensation can be experienced in the throat, on the gums, the mouths roof and inside of the cheeks as well. It comes and goes multiple times throughout the day and is probably caused due to nutritional deficiencies that women face during menopause.

A proper oral check-up is necessary to find the exact cause as it can also be a symptom for psychological problems, acid reflux, tongue thrusting, diabetes, or mouth related disorders. As a temporary solution, opting for nutritional supplements can prove to be a good idea.

The burning mouth syndrome has a multifactorial nature and needs an organized approach for treatment. Besides dentists, the involvement of endocrinologist, dermatologist, and an ENT specialist may also be required. Nutritional supplements, pain managing medications, desensitizing agents, high-fluid diet, and hormone replacement therapy might be necessary depending on the patients symptoms.

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Can Menopause Cause Dry Mouth

Reduced levels of estrogen during menopause cause mucous membrane in the eyes, nose, and mouth to dry up. Thus, women experience a kind of dryness in the mouth. Chewing and swallowing food becomes difficult and takes longer time.

Dry mouth is something that should not be ignored, and the patient must visit a dental clinic to check the reason behind the medical condition. Besides menopause, it can also be caused due to other pressing issues like Sjogrens syndrome, blocked saliva duct, etc.

The burning sensation might be accompanied by taste loss in some patients. The hormone levels reduce the regrowth of tongues taste buds resulting in temporary loss of taste.

Reduced saliva in the mouth is undoubtedly not a piece of good news because it increases the oral microbial colonization. In the absence of saliva to keep a check on decay-causing germs, the chances of severe tooth decay also multiply.

Depending on the check-up results, your dentist may recommend oil-based supplements and other medications.

Is Dry Mouth A Menopause Symptom

Burning mouth syndrome

Yes. Some women may experience dry mouth, changed taste, and even inflamed gums during menopause. The link between Menopause and constant dry mouth is mainly reflected in estrogen hormone levels changes. So, in a way, dry mouth is a symptom of menopause as it happens when menopause causes your estrogen levels to drop.

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Dry Mouth Caused By Menopause What Is It

Dry mouth from menopause is known as xerostomia, and it is a condition caused by low saliva flow in the mouth of a menopausal woman. Menopause which affects women in the middles ages, say about age 45 to 55, causes dry mouth. So, you might not have to worry about it as you have reached another checkpoint in your growth phase.

As you might have guessed, there is some link between your fluctuating and currently low hormones and your saliva. Because your sex organs are not the victims of the body-changing powers of menopause, your oral cavity is too. Interestingly, the mucus in your mouth is similar to the mucus in your vagina, and menopause dries them both. Also, the receptors of sex hormones are in both the mouth and the vagina. Thus, as your vagina is getting dry due to low estrogen levels, so is your mouth. And in this article, we will talk extensively about xerostomia.

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