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Can dry mouth be a symptom of menopause? — Ask Dr Jean

Ask Dr Jean 5 May 2021
Toothbrushes

When it comes to women's health, there is no such thing as a silly question. Do you have a question you want answered, but have been too afraid or embarrassed to bring it up with your GP? Or you forgot to ask while you were in the doctor's surgery? Now, you can 'Ask Dr Jean'.

Answering your questions for this edition of 'Ask Dr Jean' is Jean Hailes endocrinologist and President of the Australasian Menopause Society, Dr Sonia Davison (pictured below).

Question

Can dry mouth be a symptom of menopause?

Dr Sonia Davison

Answer

Yes, some women experience dry mouth and altered taste, even inflamed gums after menopause.

Unfortunately, the link between dry mouth and low oestrogen levels after menopause is not well understood.

Some women have dry mouth associated with dry eyes due to autoimmune causes, including Sjogren's syndrome. There is also a syndrome called burning mouth syndrome which becomes more common after menopause.

The important thing is to be properly assessed and advised by a health professional, as dry mouth may have implications for the health of the teeth and gums. Your dentist can tell you about diagnosis and management strategies but some women will have extreme symptoms and may need to see a specialist oral physician.

Read more about menopause and oral health in this article from the Australian Dental Association.

Have a question on women's health?

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