Dental Health for Women
During certain times of a woman’s life, her dental health needs change. Hormone fluctuations are responsible for most of the changes. It’s actually possible to plan dental work around these fluctuations in some cases. There are also dental-health-related medical issues that are more common in women than in men. Read on to find out more about the specific needs when it comes to dental health care in women.
Some women notice that their gums are a bit swollen and tender in the days before their periods. You might see that your gums bleed when you floss during these days or that it’s painful to brush your teeth. It’s important to continue to practice good oral hygiene, but do brush and floss gently. Schedule dental cleanings and other work during the first half of your cycle, if possible.
Gingivitis is common during pregnancy. The reason is because the circulating hormones cause some swelling in the gums, which makes it difficult to clean beneath them. This can cause further inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness. Some women also get dental cavities for the first time during pregnancy. Be sure to have at least one cleaning done during your pregnancy, preferably in the second trimester. Talk to your dentist about work you need to have done; most types of dental treatment can be done safely during pregnancy.
An altered sense of taste and a dry, irritated mouth are not uncommon during menopause. This can cause a woman to stop brushing and flossing as well, and it can also cause dental decay, because saliva washes away bacteria and plaque in between brushing. Sometimes medications can exacerbate these symptoms, to talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience. Some women find relief with hormonal therapy, and others find that chewing sugarfree gum and sipping water frequently can help.
Other Health Conditions
Women in general are more prone to some conditions that can cause dental woes. For example, osteoporosis is more common in women than in men, and it can cause tooth loss. Women are also more prone to developing eating disorders, which can wreak havoc on the teeth and gums. TMJ problems are also more common in women. If you are dealing with any of these issues, talk to your dentist or doctor about the problem and potential solutions.
We can help you manage your dental health whether you are pregnant, on oral contraceptives, menopausal, or being treated for various health conditions that can affect your dental health. Call us to schedule an appointment and you can talk to the dentist and hygienist about your specific concerns.
Creative Commons image by Sergey Galyonkin