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Oral discomfort at menopause

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      Abstract

      The relationship between oral discomfort and menopause was assessed in 149 women who were divided into three groups determined by response to a questionnaire. The groups consisted of 50 premenopausal women (30 to 43 years old), 47 menopausal women not receiving medical treatment for symptoms of menopause (37 to 66 years old), and 52 menopausal women attending a menopause clinic before and during treatment for menopausal symptoms (30 to 63 years old). The last group had a general medical assessment, including psychological and oral examinations with oral smears and cultures, and the following blood tests: full blood examination, follicle-stimulating hormone, oestradiol, folate, vitamin B12, iron, and total iron binding capacity. Of this last group, 33% reported oral discomfort but had no obvious organic abnormalities that could account for this symptom. The prevalence of oral discomfort was found to be significantly higher in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women (43%) than in premenopausal women (6%). The results also showed an association between oral discomfort and psychological symptoms in menopausal women. Approximately two thirds of the menopausal women with oral discomfort, but without oral clinical signs, found that this symptom was relieved after hormone replacement therapy. The results indicated that oral discomfort is a common symptom of menopause, that it often occurs without overt clinical signs, and that it frequently resolves during appropriate hormone replacement therapy.
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