Menopause mouth symptoms

5 Menopause Mouth Symptoms 

Menopause is often recognised for its more talked-about symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, and mood swings. However, its impact is much broader and extends to many areas of your body, and the mouth is no exception.

You have hormone receptors all over your body, so when levels of estrogen and testosterone start to fall, most systems in your body, from your brain to your bones, are affected by this change. For example, a decrease in hormone levels can negatively affect the overall density of bones, including those that support your teeth. This can result in a variety of oral health issues, such as bleeding and receding gums, loose teeth, and an increased risk of cavities.

How can the menopause affect my mouth? 

The teeth and gums are extremely susceptible to any hormonal changes that take place just before menopause, meaning oral health complications are surprisingly common from perimenopause onwards.

1. Dry mouth

Dry mouth, medically known as xerostomia, can occur when there is a decrease in the production of saliva, which is essential for a healthy mouth. This reduction in saliva can be attributed to the hormonal changes that take place during menopause, specifically the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. As well as being uncomfortable, dryness can lead to various oral health issues. Without sufficient saliva, the mouth becomes more susceptible to infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. In more extreme cases of dryness, it can cause difficulty chewing, swallowing, and even speaking.

2. Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is characterised by a burning or tingling sensation in the mouth, most commonly on the tongue, lips, and palate, though for some women it can be your gums, inside of your cheeks, or your whole mouth. Symptoms can develop gradually or come on strongly, like when you’ve burned your tongue or mouth on a hot drink or food.

Estrogen has a protective effect on the nerves in the mouth and is believed to play a role in maintaining the health of the oral mucosa. When estrogen levels decline, it can lead to changes in nerve function and sensitivity in the mouth, resulting in the burning sensation associated with BMS.

3. Bone thinning

The decrease in bone density that happens all over our body during menopause can also affect the upper and lower jaw bones that support the teeth, leading to a condition called osteoporotic jaw. As a result, the jawbone may become less dense, weaker, and smaller in size, affecting the stability and health of the teeth and increasing the risk of gum disease and other oral health issues.

4. Inflamed or bleeding gums

Lower estrogen levels can directly affect the gum tissues, making them more susceptible to infection and inflammation. This can lead to conditions like gingivitis, where the gums become painful, red, swollen, and bleed easily, especially when brushing or flossing your teeth.

Additionally, hormonal changes can also impact the blood vessels in the gums, making them more sensitive and prone to bleeding, which can further exacerbate the inflammation and bleeding.

5. Altered taste

A surprising symptom of reduced hormone levels is how it can affect the taste buds, especially with salty, peppery, or sour foods, and lead to a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth. In addition, reduced saliva production and dry mouth can affect the way flavours are perceived and contribute to altered taste.


Treatments for menopause mouth symptoms

The treatment options available for menopause mouth symtoms will largely depend on whether an underlying condition is contributing to your symptoms. For instance, if a nutritional deficiency is the cause, addressing this through supplements or dietary adjustments could provide relief from your symptoms. 

If you have mouth pain or discomfort, or any other symptoms that are interfering with your quality of life, it’s important to consult with your health care practitioner or a menopause specialist to explore the various treatment options available.

When to visit a dentist

Taking care of your mouth and teeth should be a priority, especially during the menopause transition, as this is a time when many oral health problems can develop. 

It’s important to work closely with your dentist to reduce the amount of plaque bacteria in your mouth and design a personalised plan that fits your needs and situation, including the frequency of dental visits and the use of specific oral care products. 

If you experience any symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, loose teeth, or severe bleeding, it is crucial to seek prompt dental care to prevent additional complications. 




Discover our range of evidence-based supplements, developed with mind and body nutrients to address the most common symptoms and support your body and your needs before, during, and after this transitionary life stage.

This article has been reviewed by our expert advisory team. 


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