Many women passing through menopause find it challenging to enjoy life with painful gums as they make eating, drinking,and maintaining confidence in social situations much more difficult. Fortunately, there are numerous treatments for menopausal gum problems, or periodontitis, worth trying, covering a variety of natural and conventional options.
Keep on reading to find out how to treat periodontitis during menopause with easy and effective approaches so that you can break free from this debilitating symptom at last!
Three Approaches to Treating Gum Problems
There are three approaches to treating gum problems that can be considered during menopause: (1) Lifestyle changes, (2) Alternative medicine, and (3) Medications, beginning with the safest, low-risk options and moving to more advanced treatments only if necessary.
Lifestyle Changes for Gum Problems Treatment
The first stage of periodontitis treatment involves making healthier lifestyle adjustments, which can bring significant improvements in terms of symptom severity. Although it entails the lowest risk, it does demand the most self-discipline.
Poor eating habits that lead to nutritional deficiencies can lead to tooth decay and gum problems. To ensure proper nutrition, a woman can maintain a balanced menopause diet with lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats that are rich in the following nutrients:
- Phytoestrogens are compounds found in plants that exert mild estrogenic effects in the body, thus helping to promote hormonal balance and relieve symptoms, including treating gum problems.
- Soy, barley, sesame, oats
- Vitamin C deficiency can cause gum problems, including bleeding and inflammation.1
- Camu camu, oranges, limes, bell peppers
- Vitamin A helps produce adequate amounts of saliva, nourishing oral membranes and protecting the gums from infections.2
- Butternut squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, kale
- Iron deficiency can be the underlying cause of gums becoming pale, sensitive, and prone to bleeding.3
- Legumes, dark leafy greens, tofu, eggs
Additionally, bacteria feed on sugar, forming plaque, contributing to tooth decay, and causing gum problems.4 As such, it is best to avoid foods that contain high amounts of refined sugar, including sweets and sweetened beverages.
Staying regularly active comes with numerous benefits for mid-aged women, including mood swings relief and stress reduction. Additionally, it can help women control weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. This is essential as some studies have associated being obese and overweight with an increased risk of gum problems.5
Amount: The general recommendation for middle-aged women is to engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week.6
Type: The best routines combine low- to moderate-level aerobic workouts, like swimming, jogging, or dancing, with muscle-strengthening exercises, like yoga or Pilates.
Useful tips: To reap the benefits from exercising, it should be consistent. Finding the types of workouts one most enjoys will help turn exercising into a habit that sticks.
Precautions: Since menopausal women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, they are advised to avoid strenuous exercise, such as heavy lifting, endurance training, and contact sports.7
When it comes to treating periodontitis, the key often lies in optimizing one's daily habits, especially promoting good oral hygiene. For optimal dental health, consider the following recommendations:
Lowering stress through conscious breathing, meditation, or biofeedback is one of the best ways to restore hormonal balance and help the body recover from gum problems.8
Maintaining proper oral hygiene, including brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly, can help prevent teeth decay and gum problems. Regular professional dental cleanings are also key.
Chewing gum, especially if sugar-free, has been shown to help remove plaque build-up and eliminate food particles after eating for optimal oral hygiene.9
Gargling with a salt water solution or using herbal mouthwashes with green tea and neem can help reduce pain, dental plaque, and inflammation in people with gingivitis.10
Quitting smoking and alcohol drinking is one of the most important steps in treating gum problems. Both are recognized factors that contribute to the development of gum problems.11,12
Alternative Medicine for Gum Problems Treatment
The second stage of periodontitis treatment involves the use of alternative medicine, most popularly herbal supplements. They cause virtually no side effects, and they treat gum disease by tackling its cause, hormonal imbalance.
There are two types of herbal supplements that may be beneficial: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating supplements.
Phytoestrogenic supplements, like red clover, contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds with estrogenic activities. When they enter the body, they mimic estrogen, which helps balance its levels as well as those of other reproductive hormones, ultimately treating gum problems. However, their extended use is not recommended since they can make the body less capable of producing its own hormones, worsening the imbalance.
Hormone-Regulating Herbal Supplements
Hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem, do not supply the body with outside hormones. Instead, they contain beneficial alkaloid compounds that nourish the endocrine glands. This helps stimulate their own hormone production and relieve gum issues. Consequently, these supplements can be used long-term and are considered one of the safest treatments for periodontitis and other menopausal ailments.
From Nature and Health Magazine, Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem's nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands." Click on the following link to learn more about Macafem.
Women often find that combining lifestyle changes and herbal supplements is a sufficient approach to treating gum problems safely and effectively. However, more conventional treatments might be necessary for advanced symptoms.
Conventional Medicine for Gum Problems Treatment
The third stage of gum problems treatment involves the highest cost and the highest risks. However, because some of those treatments may cause side effects, their use should be evaluated on an individual basis.
Two types of conventional periodontal disease treatments may include the following:
The choice of medications for gum disease will depend on their stage, overall health, and other factors. They are mainly oriented towards controlling bacterial infection.
Over-the-counter pain relievers - such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen- can temporarily lessen the pain and other discomforts due to gum disease.
Antibiotics, both topical and oral, may be prescribed for periodontitis to fight off bacteria responsible for causing plaque and infection.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was once the most popular treatment for menopause symptoms, such as gum problems. It supplies the body with synthetic hormones to alleviate symptoms. While effective, HRT use has been linked to serious side effects and certain health risks, as shown in the studies below.
Non-Surgical Procedures & Surgery
How to cure periodontitis may involve various non-surgical procedures, such as scaling and root planing. Advanced stages of periodontal disease, however, may require surgical procedures to control the infection. These may include flap surgery, bone grafts, or guided tissue regeneration, among others.
The aforementioned three stages of gum problems treatment may be used separately or in combination as necessary to manage current symptoms. During the menopausal transition, women often relieve symptoms with lifestyle adjustments and herbal supplements without having to rely on conventional treatments.
A Safe Way of Treating Gum Problems
Implementing Lifestyle Changes:
- Eating foods rich in phytoestrogens, iron, and vitamins A and C
- Keeping up with regular, low- to moderate-intensity exercises
- Lowering stress and trying out herbal mouthwashes
- Maintaining proper oral hygiene and quitting smoking
And Taking Herbal Supplements:
- Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, like red clover
- Or hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem
- American Dental Association. (2019). Chewing Gum. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/chewing-gum
- Journal of Periodontology. (2010). Adjunctive treatment of chronic periodontitis with daily dietary supplementation with omega-3 Fatty acids and low-dose aspirin. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20572767/
- Mayo Clinic. (2020). Periodontitis. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354479
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2018). Periodontal (Gum) Disease. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/gum-disease/more-info
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2014). Diabetes, Gum Disease, and & Other Dental Problems. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/gum-disease-dental-problems
- Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. (2016). The epigenetic role of vitamin C in health and disease. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26846695/
- Journal of Nutrition. (2015). Higher Intakes of Fruits and Vegetables, β-Carotene, Vitamin C, α-Tocopherol, EPA, and DHA Are Positively Associated with Periodontal Healing after Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy in Nonsmokers but Not in Smokers. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26423734/
- European Journal of Dentistry. (2012). Severe periodontal destruction in a patient with advanced anemia: A case report. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252802/
- University of Illinois at Chicago. (2017). Thinking About Another Sweet Gulp? Think Again. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://dentistry.uic.edu/patients/sugary-drinks-bad-for-teeth-oral-health
- American Heart Association. (2018). Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
- Medicine Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal. (2017). Association between obesity and periodontal disease. A systematic review of epidemiological studies and controlled clinical trials. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813989/
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.). What Women Need to Know. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/
- Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. (2011). Stress and hormones. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079864/
- Dental Research Journal. (2012). The effect of sugar-free and sugar chewing gums on plaque deposition. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469898/
- Cai, H. et al. (2020). Effects of Herbal Mouthwashes on Plaque and Inflammation Control for Patients with Gingivitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled trials. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2020/2829854/
- Materia Sociomedica. (2012). Smoking and Periodontal Disease. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633395/
- Journal of Applied Oral Science. (2006) The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Periodontal Bone Support in Experimental Periodontitis in Rats. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4327297/
- JAMA. (2002). Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12117397
- The Lancet. (2019). Type and timing of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk: individual participant meta-analysis of the worldwide epidemiological evidence. Retrieved July 3, 2020 from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)31709-X/fulltext