Everyone knows that men and women’s health care and needs are different when visiting the doctor. Why wouldn’t that be true when visiting the dentist? Just like general health care is specific to both men and women, there are differences that affect dental health as well.
Women have special needs when taking care of their teeth from adolescence all the way through old age. Due to the constant physical changes girls and women experience throughout life, it’s important to know how to properly take care of their teeth. From menstruation to pregnancy to menopause, a woman’s body is continuously going through hormone fluctuations, and some can be harmful to teeth and gums.
Puberty isn’t fun for anybody. It’s awkward, embarrassing and at times it feels like you’re not even in your own body. Girls experiencing puberty need to be especially aware of an increased likelihood of gingivitis. The influx of estrogen can cause an overgrowth of gingiva, which can cause swelling and bleeding of the gums. It’s vital during this period to keep regular visits with a dentist and maintain good oral hygiene. Women in their reproductive years tend to be more prone to gingivitis and swollen gums during their menstrual cycle as well.
While a woman is pregnant, she needs to be especially aware of her dental health. Due to the extreme changes in hormones, it can cause a number of issues. Some important aspects to be aware of are:
– Acid erosion of teeth due to morning sickness
– Gum inflammation and gingivitis
– Extreme dryness of the mouth or excessive secretion of saliva
Maintaining a healthy diet and good oral hygiene helps keep most of the side effects of pregnancy from growing into an actual problem.
Finally, later in life, menopause and osteoporosis can create unique dental needs for a woman. Most women do not have any dental symptoms when transitioning into menopause. However, some women do report oral discomfort, such as burning sensations, altered taste perception and dry mouth. Again, swollen and sensitive gums tend to be a symptom as well.
Osteoporosis occurs in both men and women, but it is much more prominent in females. Osteoporosis is characterized by a reduction in bone mass. This includes bone loss in the oral cavity. If osteoporosis affects the jaw, it can lead to tooth loss and make it difficult to wear dentures or get implants. Women can prevent the onset of osteoporosis by keeping an adequate intake of calcium in their diet. Also, practicing weight-bearing exercises and avoiding tobacco products will help enormously.
I know most women have a lot on their plate already when it comes to healthcare and the business of everyday life, but these issues shouldn’t cause added stress. It isn’t difficult to take the couple of extra steps to prevent these problems from occurring at any stage of life. Making sure to follow the normal tips of brushing and flossing daily to avoid gingivitis and swelling gums, as well as making regular appointments to see us as Bluewater Bay Dental will keep your in optimum oral health.