Women are at particular risk of developing gum infections during menopause because of hormonal imbalance, which comes along with the transition. Fluctuating levels of estrogen, in particular, can impact the body's ability to ward off gum infections. Fortunately, there are steps you can take on a day-to-day basis to prevent gum infections from occurring. Keep reading to discover five everyday things you can do to ensure good dental health.
Brush with an Electric Toothbrush
You should be brushing your teeth at least twice every day, once in the morning and once in the evening, as well as after meals if possible. Using an electric toothbrush rather than a traditional manual one can go even further in preventing gum infections during menopause. The spinning head of an electric toothbrush is able to get under your gums better than a traditional one can, and massaging motion stimulates the blood flow through your gums.
Make sure that you are flossing at least once every day. Bacteria that make it into your mouth throughout the day and hide in between your teeth, and if they are not removed, they can harden and form plaque and tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar can lead to gum infections and disease.
After brushing and flossing your teeth, finish the job by rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash. Doing this two to three times each day can keep bacteria at bay, reducing your risk of gum infection. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash is best, as this will target the bacteria that can cause tartar and plaque buildup.
Consume Vitamin C
Including an adequate amount of vitamin C in your diet can serve as a long-term solution for warding off gum infection. Vitamin C supports the teeth and boosts the immune system, enhancing its capacity to fight against bacteria - even those in the mouth and on the gums - therefore helping to prevent gum infections.
Follow Your Dentist' Advice
You should make sure that you see your dentist at least once every six months in order to ensure that there are no dental issues causing any concern. Heeding any advice your dentist gives you will put you on track to preventing gum disease.
Gum problems can appear during any stage of a woman's life, but the risk of developing them increases during times of hormonal imbalance, such as during menopause. This is because production of estrogen, which plays a role in keeping teeth, jawbones, and gums in their optimum health, can be disrupted. By following simple day-to-day steps you will be able to support your gums through this stage and for years to come. Read more about the do's and don't for managing gum problems.
- Attin, T. & Hornecker, E. (2005). Tooth brushing and oral health: how frequently and when should tooth brushing be performed? Oral health & preventative dentistry, 3(3), 135-140. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16355646
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Gum Disease. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Gum-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (n.d.) Vitamin C - Quick Facts. Retrieved September 17, 2013 from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-QuickFacts/
- State of Delaware Health and Social Services. (2009). Delaware Oral Health Program Fact Sheet - Flossing Your Teeth. Retrieved September 17, 2013 from http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsm/ohpfsflossingyourteeth.html
- Van der Weijden, G.A. , Timmerman, M.F. , Nijboer, A. , Lie, M.A. , Van der Velden, U. (1993). A comparative study of electric toothbrushes for the effectiveness of plaque removal in relation to toothbrushing duration. Journal of clinical periodontology, 20(7), 476-481. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8354721