menopause and dry mouth and tongue
By Andrea Donsky | Fact Checked By Andrea Donsky | Sources
Have you noticed that your mouth and tongue feel drier than usual? Is a dry mouth affecting your ability to chew or swallow? Dry mouth and dry tongue are common complaints among menopausal women, but you don’t have to suffer!
What is dry mouth and dry tongue?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when the amount of saliva produced by the salivary glands is reduced. Saliva performs a number of important functions such as helping with chewing and digestion, preventing cavities, limiting bacterial growth and minor infections.
When the flow of saliva declines, you can develop a dry, sore feeling in your mouth and throat, and your lips and tongue become dry as well. In some cases, it can lead to burning mouth syndrome.
If you get dry mouth and dry tongue, you may be more susceptible to oral health problems, such as cavities and swollen gums. You may also experience bad breath, sore throat, grooved tongue, a changed sense of taste, constant thirst, difficulty speaking, swallow and chewing, and problems with dentures.
Dry mouth can be caused by the use of numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines, antianxiety drugs, and blood pressure medication. In fact, dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of medication use. Other causes include aging, radiation therapy for cancer, nerve damage to the neck or face, diabetes, stroke, and mouth breathing.
What causes dry mouth during menopause?
Estrogen helps regulate fluid levels in the body, and that includes saliva. Researchers have noted that “because the oral mucosa contains estrogen receptors, variations in hormone levels direct affect the oral cavity.” .Changes in hormone levels can result in women experiencing more oral health conditions during menopause and post menopause.
How can you manage dry mouth and dry tongue naturally?
Fortunately, there are a number of actions you can take to manage dry mouth and dry tongue.
- Drink liquids. Water, infused water, herbal teas, and coconut water are all good ways to stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist. Carry a thermal bottle with you during the day so you can sip frequently.
Go ginger. Chewing ginger helps boost saliva production.
Suck on ice. Sucking on ice cubes or all-natural fruit ice pops can help rehydrate your mouth and soothe your tongue.
- Choose safe foods. Spicy, hot, crunchy, or salty foods can irritate and dry out your mouth. Choose all-natural, plainer foods and noncitrus fruits and beverages.
- Use a humidifier. This can help keep the air moist in your home and office, especially when sleeping. A humidifier is particularly suggested if you live in a very dry climate.
- Avoid ACS. That’s alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. All three can dehydrate your mouth.
- Practice good oral care. Use all-natural toothpaste and mouthwash (without alcohol).
- Try sea buckthorn oil. This supplement contains omega-7 oils, which promote healthy mucous membranes.
when to see a health provider
Have regular dental checkups. Your dentist can help you monitor your oral health to assist you in preventing the development of cavities, gingivitis, or other dental issues.
Dry mouth and dry tongue are common complaints during menopause, although they may begin during perimenopause as well. Take these natural steps to help preserve your oral health.