Oral Health And Women

The Impact of Stress on Your Dental Health - Silverado Family Dental

Adoption of health promoting strategies by women for both general and oral health is necessary, as they both lie hand in hand. 

Poor general health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, stress, osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, all accelerate the risk of problems in mouth, teeth and gums. Good hygiene practices and regular dental visits help against gum diseases, decay as well as other oral health diseases. 

CAUSES/ WHEN ARE THEY SEEN

 Changes in women’s oral health care needs are primarily related to changing hormonal level and changing hormonal levels are seen during

  1. ONSET OF PUBERTY AND MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Our body hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone cause the onset of puberty. And their levels vary during the regular menstrual cycle. These can trigger reactions in gum leading to redness, bleeding and swelling. Leaving this unattended can cause cavities and bad breath too. Canker sores and swollen salivary glands are also symptoms experienced.

  1. USE OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Oral contraceptive pills contain progesterone that can cause an increase in blood flow to gums and thereby heightens a woman’s risks to develop gum disease.

  1. PREGNANCY

It is a phase in a woman’s life where oral hygiene has been ignored. Raging hormonal levels, lack of nutritional supplements and morning sickness can cause various changes in the oral cavity such as Pregnancy Gingivitis – inflammation of the gums, overall sensitivity of the teeth and cavities. Ignorance can even cause preterm and low birth weight babies which also affects the baby’s tooth development that occurs between 3 to 6 months of pregnancy.

  1. MENOPAUSE

Post-menopausal women experience severe dry mouth as the saliva production gets reduced. Saliva plays a vital role in defense against gum disease and decay as it washes off food, neutralizes acid in the mouth, fights germs and prevents bad breath. Dry mouth can be dealt initially by increasing the body’s hydration level by drinking water followed by medication and saliva replacement if the latter fails.

Osteoporosis is also seen commonly in menopausal women causing bone loss and in turn losing support of teeth. The oral effects of osteoporosis can be avoided by healthy eating habits with plenty of calcium and vitamin D. 

CONCLUSION

Women must be encouraged to talk to their dentist at each stage of life and understand the changing oral care needs. Hormones are a fact of life but that must not interfere with a woman’s ability to maintain a healthy smile at any stage of life. Women must maintain their oral health through good oral health habits such as brushing, flossing, regularly visiting the dentist and following a healthy diet.

It is recommended to schedule regular dental cleaning and check up in early pregnancy. Visiting the dentist regularly can help lower the risk for serious ongoing health issues for both mother and her baby. Various myths regarding the safety of the mother and baby usually during pregnancy often delays treatment at this stage. Routine x-rays are likely to be postponed but in case of emergency treatment needs x-rays can be taken with adequate precautions as x-rays radiation exposure is low in dentistry.

Dental treatments are safe in pregnancy.

Talk to your dentist, your question shall be answered.

Dr.Preethi Susan Prasad 

MDS Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics 

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