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Women and Oral Health

Women and Oral Health

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.

Puberty

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.

Menstruation

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.

Pregnancy

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.

Menopause

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.

Women do not need to suffer through these hormonal changes. Thorough brushing, flossing and regular dental check- up and cleaning is paramount to prevent gum disease. Seeing your dentist regularly will also ensure that those conditions can be managed effectively. If you’d like more information or advice feel free to give us a call on (03) 9870 6030.

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