Delta Dental of Arizona Shares Menopause's Effects on Oral Health

Delta Dental of Arizona shares key oral health issues that may flare up during menopause 

GLENDALE, Ariz. (May 13, 2020)
 — Hot flashes and night sweats are two menopause annoyances often utilized for comedic relief in TV shows and movies. While the comedic dramatizations are humorous, there are other serious changes associated with menopause including oral health concerns that are no laughing matter.

Research has long shown that women are at increased risk for oral health problems because of physiological changes associated with hormonal fluctuations that occur from puberty through menopause. The gums are a sensitive part of the mouth and are easily affected by hormonal fluctuations which is why women are more susceptible to gum disease during events like pregnancy and menopause.

Some of the more common dental problems women experience during menopause include the following:

  • Oral discomfort – Pain, burning sensations, altered taste perception and dry mouth are a common complaint among menopausal and postmenopausal women.
  • Receding gums – Fluctuations in hormone levels can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to recession, which in turn leaves those areas more susceptible to decay.
  • Bone loss – As estrogen levels decrease, bones become weaker and brittle. Women going through menopause can experience bone loss in the jaw, which can affect how removable dental prosthetics fit. In fact, postmenopausal women are found to be more likely to need dentures than women without osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
  • Tooth loss – The rate of whole-body bone loss in postmenopausal women is a predictor for tooth loss. A 1996 study on the relationship between tooth loss and bone loss found that “for every 1% per year decrease in whole-body bone mineral density, the risk of tooth loss increases more than four times.” Other studies have supported the hypothesis that systemic bone loss may contribute to tooth loss in healthy individuals, and women with low bone mineral density tend to have fewer teeth compared to controls.

Although the oral symptoms of menopause seem daunting, the solution is simple: menopausal and post-menopausal women are strongly encouraged to maintain good dental hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting the dentist twice a year and talking to their dentist about any concerns or symptoms.

“Many women are familiar with the oral health issues that present during pregnancy due to hormone changes. Menopause is just as rough on your body, causing huge hormonal shifts. As a result, even women with a history of great oral health could see changes in the health of their mouth, teeth and gums during menopause. Practicing good oral hygiene and having open discussions with your dentist about any symptoms you’re experiencing are key,” said Tiffany Di Giacinto, director of marketing and communications at Delta Dental of Arizona.

For more oral health tips and resources, visit the Delta Dental of Arizona Blog at


About Delta Dental of Arizona
Delta Dental of Arizona is the leading dental benefits provider in Arizona, serving more than 1.2 million enrollees and more than 3,500 contracted dentists across the state. Passionate about oral health and its importance to generations of families, Delta Dental of Arizona has worked for more than 45 years to improve oral health by emphasizing preventive care and making dental coverage accessible to a wide variety of employers, groups and individuals. Since 2010, Delta Dental of Arizona, through its Foundation, gave $7 million to support oral health education and disease prevention programs for underserved and uninsured communities across the state. For more information about Delta Dental of Arizona, visit