Women have special oral health needs. Major life events like puberty, pregnancy and menopause, as well as menstruation and oral contraceptives affect women’s dental health dramatically. Changes in female hormone levels can have significant effect on the way gums react to plaque. Commonly the gum disease is painless and many women do not find out until the disease is at advanced state which leads to teeth loss.
Research has shown that gum disease is linked to a number of health problems that affect women such as heart disease, Diabetes and pregnancy outcomes.
Increased production of hormones change the way gums react to
plaque leading to more sensitivity, swelling and
bleeding. If braces are present, they also increase the difficulty of oral hygiene which impact on gum health and increase risks of decay.
Some women experience bleeding, sores and
ulcers in the lead-up to their period while others
may develop temporary gingivitis. For women who are on oral contraceptive pills, due to the increase of hormone, in the first few months the gums may become swollen and red.
The gums of some women may bleed more easily
due to “pregnancy gingivitis” while vomiting from
morning sickness can erode away more enamel
from your teeth. Many women during pregnancy also have unusual food cravings including sugary food which may cause decay.
There is significant reduction in hormone level which can have oral health effects including inflamed gums,
burning sensations, altered taste sensations and
dry mouth. Dry mouth can increase the risks of tooth decay. Osteoporosis can also cause the bone in the jaw to recede, leading to gum reduction and tooth loss. Osteoporosis medications can also affect healing after tooth extractions.