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Dentistry Today84% of Women 50 and Older Unaware of Menopause-Oral Health Connection

The majority of menopausal women do not know how dental professionals may help them address problems and provide remedies, according to the poll.

A recent survey by Delta Dental reveals a significant lack of awareness among women aged 50 and over about the connection between menopause and oral health symptoms. Despite experiencing symptoms like dry mouth and receding gum lines, a mere 2% have discussed these issues with their dentist. The report highlights an urgent need for dental professionals to educate this demographic on the oral health implications of menopause.

HCN Medical Memo
This report serves as a wake-up call to proactively educate and engage with women over 50 about the oral health implications of menopause. By doing so, dental professionals can not only improve oral health outcomes but also contribute to breaking the stigma surrounding menopause. It’s an opportunity to provide holistic care that addresses both oral and overall health, fulfilling our responsibility as healthcare providers.

Key Points:
  • Delta Dental’s 2023 Senior Oral Health and Menopause Report shows that 84% of women aged 50 and over are unaware that oral health symptoms could be related to menopause.
  • Despite 70% of these women experiencing at least one oral health symptom since menopause onset, only 2% have discussed it with their dentist and 1% with their dental hygienist.
  • Sarah Chavarria, President at Delta Dental, emphasizes the need for whole-person care that includes oral health in overall physician care, especially during menopause.
  • Dr. Jessica Buehler, senior director of dental affairs at Delta Dental, points out that the lack of saliva, a natural buffer, can lead to a range of other oral health symptoms related to menopause.

“As medical professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure our patients are receiving the holistic health care and support they deserve—not only oral health, but whole person health as well. We can help ease the burden and break the stigma by creating space for these conversations.”
– Dr. Daniel Croley, Chief Dental Officer at Delta Dental

Additional Points:
  • Common oral health symptoms among women experiencing menopause include dry mouth (39%), receding gum lines (30%), and tooth sensitivity (28%).
  • After learning about the connection, 77% of women say they will prioritize their next dental exam, and 43% will spend more time on their oral health care routine.
  • Only 26% of women look to their primary care provider for information on menopause-related oral health concerns, the same percentage that consults Google.

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