Oral Health and Menopause

Menopause is physiological changes in women that give rise to adaptive changes at both systemic and oral level. As we all begin to reach an older age, dental health and hygiene becomes a major concern. The dentist is often the first person to appreciate numerous changes that are experienced throughout the body during menopause. The teeth and gums are extremely susceptible to any hormonal changes that take place just before menopause and readily decrease body’s ability to fight off minor infections or maintain a healthy balance of useful and harmful bacteria within the oral environment.

Developing better understanding for major oral and dental complications observed in women during menopause, and schematic approach towards the different dental management protocols used during these periods is required. Various internet based popular search engines were used to explore related data from literature, which includes PubMed, PubMed Central, Cochrane, Google, Medknow, Ebsco, Science Direct, and IndMed. Upon compilation of relevant data, it was observed that periodontal health is most severely affected (up to 60%) followed by dry mouth (25%) and burning mouth (glossodynia; 15%) which, in turn, may increase the occurrence of oral mucosal and dental diseases, such as candidiasis. Though, the usage of hormone replacement therapy is effective but it does not necessarily prevent or help women with oral symptoms. Therefore, well controlled long term randomized studies are needed to establish more authentic clinical guidelines for successful management of such conditions.

Source: Oral Health and Menopause : A Comprehensive Review on Current Knowledge and Associated Dental Management; Annals of Medical and Health Science Research 2013; 3(3)320-23 Link to download