Could you lose teeth or have gum issues during Menopause?

Could you lose teeth or have gum issues during Menopause?

Hormonal changes such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can have significant impacts on oral health, causing many women to face issues. However, Delta Dental’s 2023 Senior Oral Health and Menopause Survey, which interviewed 1,061 women aged 50+, found that 84 percent of participants were unaware of the effects menopause can have on oral health. 

During menopause, the body experiences a decrease in oestrogen and progesterone levels (Adam & Wooton, 2022, p.170). The mucous membrane lining the inside of the mouth and the salivary glands contain oestrogen receptors, therefore, shifts in the amount of oestrogen in the body can impact the mouth. During menopause, the body’s ability to fight off infections and maintain a healthy oral environment is also compromised (Prasnanna, 2018, p. 42).

Commonly reported symptoms amongst menopausal women include swelling gums, pain, dry mouth or burning mouth syndrome, which can cause a burning sensation in the tongue, lips and gums (Santoh, 2013). One in three respondents experienced dry mouth due to less saliva production (The Delta Dental study, 2023), which makes menopausal women more prone to dental problems, difficulties swallowing, and oral diseases.

Unfortunately, increased risk of oral complications does not cease after menopause. Post-menopausal women are more prone to gum disease, believed to be due to the lack of oestrogen, causing bone and tooth loss, as well as inflammation (Buencamino, 2009, p. 467). Studies suggest that decreased bone density in the hips, wrists and lower back correlates with lower jaw density (Taguchi, 1996 in Buencamino, 2009, p. 469). Women with osteoporosis may also be at a greater risk of facing these oral health issues.

Whilst the general symptoms of menopause have been studied, information about the connection between hormones and oral health for women at this stage of life is scarce. In fact, only two percent of women included in the Delta Dental Study had discussed their menopausal health with their dentist. 

There is a clear deficit of information regarding this area, putting menopausal women at greater risks of developing oral issues. However, in order to prevent oral disorders, regular checkups and maintenance of dental hygiene are key. This includes replacing your toothbrush every three to four months and flossing. Sustaining a balanced diet and avoiding smoking will also reduce the risk of complications (Buencamino, 2009, p. 474).


  1. Adam, M., & Wooton, J. (2022). Menopause and oral health. British Dental Journal, 233(3), p. 170-170.
  2. Buencamino, M. C., Palomo, L., & Thacker, H. L. (2009). How menopause affects oral health, and what we can do about it. Cleve Clin J Med, 76(8), 467-75.
  3. Ciesielska, A., Kusiak, A., Ossowska, A., & Grzybowska, M. E. (2021). Changes in the Oral Cavity in Menopausal Women-A Narrative Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(1), 253.
  4. Delta Dental. (2023). Delta Dental’s 2023 Senior Oral Health and Menopause Report: Breaking the Stigma.
  5. Prasanna, J. S., Karunakar, P., Sravya, M. V. N., Madhavi, B., & Manasa, A. (2018). Detrimental consequences of women life cycle on the oral cavity. Journal of Oral Research and Review, 10(1), 39-44.
  6. Rukmini, J. N., Sachan, R., Sibi, N., Meghana, A., & Malar, C. I. (2018). Effect of Menopause on Saliva and Dental Health. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 8(6), 529–533.
  7. Santosh, P., Nidhi, S., Sumita, K., Farzan, R., Bharati, D., & Ashok, K. (2013). Oral findings in postmenopausal women attending dental hospital in Western part of India. Journal of clinical and experimental dentistry, 5(1), e8–e12.
  8. Taguchi, A & Tanimoto, Keiji & Suei, Y & Ohama, K & Wada, T. (1996). Relationship between the mandibular and lumbar vertebral bone mineral density at different postmenopausal stages. Dento maxillo facial radiology, 25. 130-5. 10.1259/dmfr.25.3.9084261. 
  9. Varlas, V., Parlatescu, I., Epistatu, D., Dima, V., Bors, R. G., Bohiltea, R. E., & Perlea, P. (2021). Menopause and oral health. Romanian JouRnal of Stomatology, 67(4).


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