While oral problems - such as burning mouth syndrome - are known to occur during menopause, they are not as well understood as other, more common menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness.
To shed some light on the topic, Indian researchers took a closer look at how prevalent are oral problems among postmenopausal women in comparison to men of the same age.
For the purpose of this cross-sectional study, researchers recruited 100 postmenopausal women (7 years since menopause, on average) as well as 100 age-matched men (between the ages of 61 and 62). They were patients at the dental hospital in Gurgaon, India.
Both groups underwent clinical assessments to evaluate their oral health status, such as current caries and oral hygiene. They also filled out questionnaires regarding their oral health, including experienced discomforts.
The results of this trial showed that women were more likely to present oral symptoms. The most common complaints were dry mouth (43%), burning sensation (41%), taste alterations (38%), and orofacial pain (21%).
Female participants also had poorer scores for oral hygiene and gingival health status in comparison to male participants.
What Does It Mean?
This study has shown that postmenopausal women are more prone to oral problems than men of the same age.
These findings raise the importance of early detection as well as the implementation of preventive measures in women after menopause in order to avoid serious complications and better address their needs.
Previous studies have found than oral health problems present significant challenges to women throughout the menopausal transition, including negatively affecting their ability to eat or speak as well as their self-esteem.1
- University Journal of Dental Sciences. (2017). Yes, Menopause Matters - Assessment of Oral Manifestations and Oral Health Status Among Post Menopausal Women Attending Dental Hospital in Gurgaon. Retrieved February 10, 2021 from https://old.amu.ac.in/pdf/dentjour/YES%20MENOPAUSE.pdf
- Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. (2012). Menopause and the oral cavity. February 10, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401754/