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Support Oral Health in Menopausal Women

With nearly 3,000 women reaching menopausal age each day in the United States and living 25 years to 30 years beyond its onset, dental hygienists are poised to provide comprehensive care to women before, during, and after menopause. However, lack of knowledge about oral manifestations in menopause may hinder the ability to do so. Compiling comprehensive patient assessments facilitates the development of a care plan tailored to the patient’s needs and promotes collaborative care with health care providers. Management of menopausal oral manifestations includes routine oral hygiene, modifiable risk counseling, treatment specific to presenting conditions, and collaboration with the patient’s physician to provide medical care and rule out any underlying factors.


Menopause is composed of four stages: premenopause, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.

Exhausted mature woman entering menopause yacobchuk / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Two main sex hormones play a role in oral manifestation of menopause: estrogen and progesterone.

Female Hormone balance , Gynecology concept ChesiireCat / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Research shows what percentage of women with systemic symptoms of menopause simultaneously experience oral manifestations?

Happy attractive senior woman in a flowerfield absolutimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Oral changes associated with menopause may include xerostomia, periodontitis, osteoporosis, oral mucosal disorders, and trigeminal neuralgia.

nopause symptoms tags cloud. Estrogen level, hot flashes, loss of libido, night sweats. Beautiful vector illustration. newannyart / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Health history questions for menopausal patients should focus on determining the patient’s menopausal status, symptoms, and medication history.

Menopause Hand Drawn Lettering newannyart / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), which supplements estrogen and progesterone during menopause, and healthy lifestyle changes may increase the risk for systemic and oral conditions.

Pharmacist holding medicine box and capsule pack MJ_Prototype / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the use of testosterone, progesterone alone, compounded bioidentical hormones, phytoestrogens, or herbal supplements.

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word menopause. Devonyu / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Support Oral Health in Menopausal Women
Not bad, but there’s room to grow when it comes to understanding how to support oral health in menopausal women. Consider reading more about this important facet of dental hygiene care. Good luck!
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This information is from the article “Oral Health Implications of Menopause” by Windy L. Rothmund, RDH, MSDH. To read the article, click here.

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