Supporting patients through menopause

Featured Products Promotional Features

  Posted by: Dental Design      12th March 2024

Half of the population will experience menopause, so it’s vital that those working in primary care raise awareness about the impact it can have on their health. A recent survey[i] found that 84% of women over 50 don’t know how menopause affects their oral health. Nearly 90% were unaware of the ways that menopause can impact specific areas of their oral health including increased tooth decay, gingivitis, and tooth loss, as well as its impact on jaw density – and over 75% didn’t know that it can lead to dry mouth and receding gingiva.[ii]

These oral health impacts can have a knock on effect on their quality of life, so it’s important to educate patients about what to expect and how best to manage these effects, as well as offer support and advice to individuals.

Public awareness of menopause and oral health

While many people feel more comfortable discussing the menopause now than in previous years, with calls for more transparency in the workplace to improve personal and professional lives,[iii] there is still a stigma surrounding menopause.[iv] As such, many women may feel uncomfortable discussing their symptoms with anyone, including medical and dental professionals. This is despite 79% of women saying they’d noticed a change in the appearance of their teeth and gingiva as they aged.[v]

This is concerning, as many people are likely to be suffering with painful symptoms in silence. If patients do not feel comfortable broaching the subject with their dentist, they may not be getting the care they need to improve their oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL). As such, it’s important that dental professionals do all they can to boost awareness of the impacts of menopause on oral health amongst their patients and the public, and offer advice to patients about how best to manage any symptoms they experience.

Educating patients for improved OHRQoL

Having learnt about the effects of menopause on their oral health, 54% of premenopausal, perimenopausal, and menopausal women said they would spend much more time on their oral health routine.[vi] Additionally, more than 77% of women said that they would make booking their next dental/hygiene appointment a priority.[vii] This is promising, showing that education really could be the key to improved oral health during the menopause. Education on this subject should start when patients are younger, to put them in the best possible position to maintain their oral health and recognise symptoms, as well as establish good oral hygiene routines from an early age.

Research[viii] which analysed the most common oral health related symptoms of menopause revealed that periodontal health is most severely affected, followed by dry and burning mouth. It is important that patients are aware of what this means for their long-term health, with issues such as gingivitis potentially leading to tooth loss, and dry mouth increasing the likelihood of caries.

Managing periodontitis

Should a patient develop periodontal issues such as gingivitis and periodontitis, it is important to start treatment early, and manage their oral health closely over the long-term. Be sure to offer oral hygiene advice, and recommend regular check-ups and dental hygiene appointments to help control levels of plaque, as well as reduce the risk of periodontal issues worsening.

While periodontal issues should be managed by mechanical debridement, to make at-home care easier for patients, there are a number of oral hygiene adjuncts which can help get plaque levels under control in the short-term. Chlorhexidine is effective in reducing and preventing plaque build-up, acting as an effective treatment for gingivitis.[ix] As such, mouth rinses which contain antimicrobials are recommended for those who are at a higher risk of developing periodontal issues, as well as patients with limited dexterity.

A great example of an antimicrobial mouth rinse is the Perio plus Balance mouth rinse from Curaprox. It is the ideal oral hygiene adjunct for patients who are at a higher risk of dental disease. The rinse contains 0.05% chlorhexidine, CITROX®, polylysine, and xylitol. Each active ingredient works to control bacteria and protect against caries. This is the perfect solution for patients who need long-term protection against gingivitis and periodontitis – as the rinse can be used day and night for up to six months.

It is essential that dental practitioners work to raise awareness of the effects of menopause on oral health amongst the general public. By educating their patients from a young age, those affected by menopause will be able to spot the oral health symptoms of menopause early, and seek treatment and advice quickly, to minimise the impact on their OHRQoL. With so many patients unaware of the ways their health may be affected, education and regular monitoring is key for improving patients’ experiences.

For more information, please visit

[i] Delta Dental. Breaking the stigma: Let’s talk about menopause and oral health. Accessed Dec 23.

[ii] Delta Dental. Breaking the stigma: Let’s talk about menopause and oral health. Accessed Dec 23.

[iii] Bell, J., Garlick, D. & Stevens, C. It’s time to talk about the M word. Br Dent J 232, 15–17 (2022).

[iv] UK Parliament: Committees. ‘Considerable stigma’ faced by women going through menopause in the workplace. Accessed Dec 23.

[v] Delta Dental. Breaking the stigma: Let’s talk about menopause and oral health. Accessed Dec 23.

[vi] Forbes. 84% Of Women Unaware That Menopause Can Affect Oral Health, New Survey Shows. Accessed Dec 23.


[viii] Dutt P, Chaudhary S, Kumar P. Oral health and menopause: a comprehensive review on current knowledge and associated dental management. Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2013 Jul;3(3):320-3. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.117926. PMID: 24116306; PMCID: PMC3793432.

[ix] Alassy, Hatem, et al. “Antimicrobial adjuncts in the management of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions: a narrative review.” Front. Oral Maxillofac. Med 3 (2021): 16.

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.