Important Oral Health Considerations for Women

Flossing to help with Woman's oral health

 

Previously we have talked about the importance of good oral and dental hygiene and the effects that it can have on your overall health, regardless of gender. But did you know that women in particular have unique oral health needs and often need more dental attention than men? So, what makes women different?

 

Hormones

Throughout a woman’s life, the rise and fall of hormone levels can affect the delicate balance of overall health and in turn can lead to gum disease and other oral and dental problems. The key is knowing what to do at each stage. 

 

Puberty

For young women experiencing puberty, the high hormone levels can result in sensitive gums. Plaque, bacteria and food particles can cause irritation resulting in redness and swelling. To help reduce this, through regular brushing and flossing after meals can help reduce the cause of irritation. As puberty progresses, gum sensitivity should reduce, but if you have concerns seek the advice of your dentist.

 

Menstruation

The hormone levels and fluctuations with menstruation cycles can cause increased salivary proteins to be produced which can leave you with an increase in bad breath, particularly before menstruation. 

You may also experience swelling, redness and bleeding of the gums during ovulation due to the higher levels of the hormone progesterone. To combat this, brush and floss thoroughly after meals, using a tongue scraper and mouthwash throughout the day.

 

Birth Control

All types of birth control can raise the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the body, again resulting in sore and irritated gums. 

Some types of hormonal birth control can also affect the way in which your mouth heals.  It is important that you consult your dentist and let them know which medications you take before the procedure. 

 

Pregnancy

Dental and oral health during pregnancy is important, not only to the mother, but also the unborn child. Many women are affected by morning sickness and acid reflux which can lead to increased levels of bacteria and acids in the mouth, which in turn can break down the protective barriers of the teeth which prevent tooth decay.

Hormones in pregnancy often surge and can lead to an increase in cavities, loose teeth and gum disease. There is research that suggests that severe gum disease can also lead to preterm birth and low birthweight so it is important that if you have gum disease, you regularly consult with your dentist from the beginning of your pregnancy and throughout each trimester.

 

Menopause and Aging 

During menopause, women are more likely to experience dry mouth. This lack of saliva can make you susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Saliva works to wash away food and bacteria from the inside of the mouth as well as neutralizing acids, fighting germs and preventing bad breath. Regular brushing and flossing as well as using a mouthwash is recommended

Maintaining good oral health as you age is imperative. Poor oral health can increase the risk of other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. 

 

Regular Dental Check Ups

Hormones are a part of every woman’s life and will rise and fall regularly, affecting the balance of many areas within the body. You can take control of the effect that they have on your dental and oral health with good habits like brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, regular dental visits and following a healthy diet containing plenty of vitamins C, B12, D and calcium.If you are noticing changes to your dental and oral health during your hormonal cycles, contact your dentist for advice.

 

At Dublin Corners Dental we offer a wide range of dental services to suit your needs. Call today to arrange an appointment to start your journey to better oral health and hygiene on (925) 875-9292 or Contact Us here.

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