The most common condition affecting all women is menopause and most women spend one third of their lives after the menopause. Menopause is accompanied by a number of characteristic physical changes, some of which are manifested in the oral cavity. Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the oral health status of a group of menopausal women who visited a menopause clinic in Ankara, Turkey. Materials and Methods: A total of 348 women, aged 44–65 (mean 52.17 ± 4.67), who spontaneously attended the menopause clinic at Hacettepe University Hospital, Ankara, Turkey, (between 1998 and 2000) were interviewed and examined by a trained dentist over a two-year period. Their oral status was determined by the same dentist by using the follwing indices on the basis of WHO criteria: Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT); Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth Surfaces (DMFS); Root, Decayed, Filled (RDF); and Community Periodontal Index (CPI). Oral complaints and denture status was also assessed. The data were analysed by means of difference between groups. Results: A total of 23% of the women were using hormones and 77% were not. The most significant symptom was oral dryness with 48.8% in the hormone users and 68.3% in the non-users (p < 0.05). A total of 36.3% of the hormone users and 39.5% of the non-users were edentulous (p > 0.05). DMFT, DMFS and CPI values of non-users were higher than the hormone users (p < 0.001). RDF values did not show any significant difference between hormone users and non users (p > 0.05). Conclusions: These data suggest that menopause might play a role in the oral status of women. The use of hormones seemed to affect oral health positively.
Keywords: menopause, oral health, Turkey