Women and Oral Health

Orlando Dentist Discusses Women’s Oral Health

Although all teeth are created equal, there are some very specific issues that affect women’s dental and oral health. WebMD has some great information that we share below. If you have any questions or need to schedule a dental exam in the Orlando area, we would love to hear from you. Watson Dental Care has been serving the Orlando area for more than 30 years and can assist with the specifics of women’s oral health.

Introduction to Women’s Oral Health

Did you know that women can be more at risk for oral health problems at different stages in their lives? Women’s oral health actually depends on their different stages of life. For many women, these changes are directly related to surges in sex-hormone levels, such as in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with TMJ, myofascial pain, eating disorders and Sjögren’s syndrome (which causes dry mouth).

Hormones affect not only the blood supply to the gum tissue but also the body’s response to the toxins (poisons) that result from plaque buildup. As a result of these changes, women are more prone to the development of periodontal disease at certain stages of their lives, as well as to other oral health problems.

When Are Women More at Risk for Dental Health Issues?

There are five situations in a women’s life during which hormone fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems – during puberty, at certain points in the monthly menstrual cycle, when using birth control pills, during pregnancy, and at menopause.

Puberty and Dental Health

The surge in production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque, causing the gum tissue to become red, tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.

The Monthly Menstrual cycle and Dental Health

Due to the hormonal changes (particularly the increase in progesterone) that occur during the menstrual cycle, some women experience oral changes that can include bright red swollen gums,swollen salivary glands, development of canker sores, or bleeding gums. Menstruation gingivitis usually occurs a day or two before the start of the period and clears up shortly after the period has started.

Use of Birth Control Pills and Dental Health

Women who take certain birth control pills that contain progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body, may experience inflamed gum tissues due to the body’s exaggerated reaction to the toxins produced from plaque. Tell your dentist if you are taking an oral contraceptive.

Pregnancy and Dental Health

Hormone levels change considerably during pregnancy. An increased level of progesterone, in particular, can cause gum disease any time during the second to eighth month of pregnancy – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Your dentist may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Tell your dentist if you are pregnant.

Schedule an appointment with us here at Watson Dental if you are a woman experiencing any oral health issues, especially ones that may correlate to any of the above. Watson Dental is here to help and provide you the best options and care!

Original Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/hormones-oral-health