Unfortunately, the longer your body goes without a menstrual period, the higher your risk of osteoporosis and fracture. Estrogen plays a big role in maintaining bone density. Some 20 to 30 percent of bone loss in women occurs in the first five years after menopause. “The risk of osteoporosis is very low before menopause, but post-menopausally, fractured hips and problems related to bone density are very likely,” Kevin Audlin, MD, a gynecologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, told everydayhealth.com. Perhaps, what’s worse, many postmenopausal women are in denial about their personal risk, according to an International Osteoporosis Foundation survey of women in 11 countries. And this means they don’t take steps to safeguard those bones, including eating a calcium-rich diet, performing weight-bearing exercises and strength-training, and limiting too much sodium as well as beverages (alcohol, soda, coffee) that leach calcium from bones.
Believe it or not, estrogen can even impact those pearly whites. The same process that leads to bone loss in the spine and hips can lead to the loss of the alveolar bone of the jaws. The result: loose teeth, tooth loss, and periodontal disease, which women are more susceptible to after menopause, according to a study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. In addition, many postmenopausal women note dry mouth, pain, or burning in the gum tissue as well as altered taste for salty, peppery, or sour foods,” says JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Now more than ever, good oral hygiene counts.