How Menopause Can Affect Your Dental Implant Procedure

If you are looking for ways to enhance your smile or correct a malocclusion, make an appointment with a dental implant services provider. He or she will evaluate your oral cavity and propose an effective treatment option to best suit your needs. If you are menopausal, be sure to tell your dentist, because menopause can affect the outcome of your procedure. Here are three ways menopause can affect the way you heal from dental implant surgery and what you can do about them:

Degenerative Bone Disorders

If you are in menopause, you may be at a heightened risk for developing degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis. Not only can these disorders affect your neck, spine, hip, and knees, they can also damage the bones that support your teeth and your jaw.

Osteoporosis leads to diminished bone density, and if your bones become thin or brittle, your recovery period from your implant procedure may take longer. While dental implants are usually well-tolerated by almost everyone, people with degenerative bone disorders may need additional monitoring by both the dentist and physician. 

Osteoporosis Drugs

Menopausal women sometimes take medications to slow the progression of osteoporosis and to increase bone density. While these drugs may help prevent fractures in the event of a fall, they can cause a serious condition known osteonecrosis of the jaw.

This causes destruction of bone tissue and may lead to exposure of the jaw bone. Other symptoms include, inflammation, redness, and pain in the gums or tooth sockets, delayed healing after dental procedures, drainage from the bone, and sometimes, the inability to open your mouth. If you have any of these symptoms while taking medication to manage your osteoporosis, your dentist will need to evaluate your oral health, and perhaps consult with your physician to determine how to treat it before your dental implant procedure can begin.

Low Estrogen

Estrogen levels sharply decline during menopause, and because of this, you may notice changes in your gum tissue. Estrogen helps keep your gums healthy, and when it decreases as a result of menopause, you may be at risk for gingivitis and gum recession. You may also be at risk for developing a severe form of gingivitis known as periodontitis.

This condition can cause severe bleeding, gum retraction, and even destruction of the bones in your mouth. If your estrogen levels are low and you develop gum problems, see your dentist and physician right away.

Your physician may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to improve the condition of your gums, while your dentist may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. If you get dental implants before your gums have healed, you may be at risk for infection or further tissue damage.

If you are in menopause, let your dentist know if you have degenerative joint disease, low estrogen levels, or if you take medications to treat osteoporosis. When he or she knows about your menopausal-related circumstances, an effective treatment plan can be implemented so that you enjoy an event-free recovery period after your dental implant surgery.