Q: Why do a woman's teeth and gums often hurt during menopause?
A: During menopause, when estrogen levels drop, women may experience a dry mouth, burning sensations, altered sense of taste, and extreme sensitivity to hot and cold. Their gums also may become inflamed, hurt, or bleed.
Estrogen supplements can provide relief for some people, says Barbara J. Steinberg, of the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University. She also recommends frequent visits to the dentist for cleanings and a saliva substitute to lubricate a dry mouth.
Pharmacies sell saliva substitute in several forms, including sprays. Drinking water or chewing sugarless gum or candy also can help.