The relationship between oral and general health is bidirectional. During menopause, there is permanent cessation of menstrual cycle with a decrease in female hormonal level. This results in changes in general health, like dryness of the vagina, hot flashes, and dermatological, psychological, and cognitive changes. The oral manifestations include xerostomia, burning mouth syndrome, and periodontal and gingival diseases. The histological similarity between the oral and the vaginal mucosa can explain the similarity in their symptoms.
Aims and objectives: To review the literature regarding oral health care and treatment needs of women after menopause and to guide gynecologists, dentists, and general practitioners in the principles of treatment of women with menopause-related oral health issues.
Methods: The PubMed, EBSCO, and Cochrane database were searched until June 2020 with keywords like “menopause,” “menopausal problems,” “postmenopausal health issues,” “oral health,” “periodontal problems,” “dental health,” “dental disorders,” “saliva,” “burning mouth syndrome,” “glossodynia,” “xerostomia,”and “menopause hormone therapy (MHT).”
Results: Estrogen receptors are present in the periodontium and salivary glands. This may account for increased incidences of periodontal diseases, xerostomia, and burning mouth syndrome in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, as there is a sharp decline in female steroid hormones. Xerostomia and glossodynia were the most common oral symptoms in women during and after menopause. MHT has not shown much effect in reducing oral symptoms.
Conclusion: Dentists and gynecologists should work together to help perimenopausal and postmenopausal women in the reduction of their oral health problems and encourage them to maintain good oral hygiene and diet practices. There is a need for randomized controlled trials related to the role of hormone replacement therapy on oral health.
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