Influence of Oral and Gut Microbiota in the Health of Menopausal Women

Front Microbiol. 2017 Sep 28:8:1884. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01884. eCollection 2017.


Sex differences in gut microbiota are acknowledged, and evidence suggests that gut microbiota may have a role in higher incidence and/or severity of autoimmune diseases in females. Additionally, it has been suggested that oral, vaginal, and gut microbiota composition can be regulated by estrogen levels. The association of vaginal microbiota with vulvovaginal atrophy at menopause is well described in the literature. However, the relevance of oral and gut microbiota modulation in the immune system during estrogen deficiency and its effect on inflammatory diseases is not well explored. Estrogen deficiency is a condition that occurs in menopausal women, and it can last approximately 30 years of a woman's life. The purpose of this mini- review is to highlight the importance of alterations in the oral and gut microbiota during estrogen deficiency and their effect on oral and inflammatory diseases that are associated with menopause. Considering that hormone replacement therapy is not always recommended or sufficient to prevent or treat menopause-related disease, we will also discuss the use of probiotics and prebiotics as an option for the prevention or treatment of these diseases.

Keywords: estrogen; gut microbiota; menopause; mouth diseases; oral health; saliva.

Publication types

  • Review