Can menopause cause a dry mouth?

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Menopause Advisor
Ask Eileen

18 May 2020

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be answering the question, "Can the menopause cause a dry mouth?"

Over the last few weeks, I've been talking about dry and itchy skin in the menopause, I've been talking about vaginal dryness. But many women are surprised to hear that a dry mouth is also quite a common menopause symptom, too. I get a lot of women coming to me confused about why they have started getting a dry mouth. It's causing several problems, and they're not sure what's going on.

What causes dry mouth during menopause

The main issue is when your oestrogen starts to fall, which affects the hydration of your mucous membranes, and that includes the mouth, the tongue, and the gums.
This, in turn, can cause a lot of problems. It can cause induced thirst because your mouth feels dry all the time. It can affect your voice. Some women say they find their voice seems to get that little bit deeper. It can cause uncomfortable, dry, sore, and cracked lips.

It can affect your taste, and if you don't produce enough saliva, then this can make it difficult to chew your food. And it can cause difficulty in swallowing the food as well.

Saliva is really important in the mouth because it's also very important for keeping your teeth clean. So, if you don't have enough saliva, then it's more likely you can end up with gum infections. You can get inflamed gums, and you can also be more prone to tooth decay and actual tooth infections, too.

There is also another symptom called burning mouth syndrome. Now, this seems to be more common during the menopause, but it can also be triggered by a deficiency in things like zinc. Low zinc can be a big issue with this particular symptom.

What can help dry mouth during menopause?

Sea Buckthorn Oil

There is a supplement called Sea Buckthorn Oil which is nice for helping to maintain the mucous membranes. This is one that works anywhere in the body where you're getting any specific dryness. Your local health food shop will be able to advise you on this supplement.

Soy isoflavones

You can look at soy isoflavones supplements. These are known to help just very gently increase and even out your oestrogen levels so they can help in quite a few different ways.

Remember the water

If you're getting dehydrated, very often, you will be not drinking enough water, so remember to drink a litre and a half of plain water a day.

And this is over and above whatever else you are drinking, so just remember that one.

Get regular check-ups & practice good oral hygiene

You do need to get regular check-ups with your hygienist or your dentist, but I know at this moment in time, it's not something that can be quite so easy to arrange.
It's also really important to follow good oral hygiene.

Try a natural toothpaste and mouthwash

When we're in the menopause, our mucous membranes can be much more sensitive to just about anything. If you're using a lot of conventional toothpaste that is full of chemicals, if you're using mouthwashes that are high in alcohol, then these can very often irritate your gums and your mouth, too.

Look at going for natural toothpaste, go for natural mouthwashes. We do a lovely toothpaste that contains Echinacea, and we also do a nice mouthwash that contains herbs that help with inflammation and infection of the gums, called Dentaforce.

Things to avoid or limit

You can also look at making sure you don't eat the wrong types of foods or drinks because they can irritate the gums and the tongue further. So that would be things like your caffeine, your fizzy drinks, high-sugar foods and drinks, alcohol, smoking, and also really temperature hot-wise foods, and spicy foods, too.

So, if this is part of the problem, then just have a quick overhaul of your diet to make sure you're not eating and drinking a lot of the foods that are contributing to this problem.

When do you need to see your dentist?

If the dryness is becoming an issue, if you find that you're not being able to chew your food, if you're having difficulty swallowing, it is really important to try and get this checked out.

There is a possibility that it could also be blocked saliva ducts, and these are things that need checking with your dentist.

As I said before, it's not easy to see a dentist at the moment, but if you're really worried, then your local surgery should have an emergency contact number.

So, I hope you have found this one interesting.

If any of you out there have any tips on how you managed your dry mouth or things that you found helped you generally, then please share them in the comment section below.

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Did you know?

You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.

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