Women need to be more careful with their oral health says Consultant Dental Surgeon Dr. Vijaya Bharathi.
Oral Health of women depends on their different stages of life. For many women, these changes are directly related to 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 Sjogren’s syndrome (dry mouth). As a woman, you need to adhere to good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, at least twice a day. To help avoid problems, see your dentist more frequently during hormonal changes.
The surge in hormones that grow during puberty may cause swollen gums, especially during menstruation. Herpes-type lesions and ulcers can also develop. Girls may experience sensitive gums that react more to irritants.
Oral contraceptives act similarly to pregnancy because they contain progesterone or estrogen. Therefore gingivitis may occur with long-term use. Women who use birth control pills are twice as likely to develop dry sockets after tooth extraction, therefore, consult your dentist before major procedures.
Pregnant women have a risk for increased inflammation of the gums because of the surge in estrogen and progestrone. If the plaque is not removed, it can cause gingivitis-that is: red, swollen with tender gums that are more likely to bleed. Women with periodontal disease may be at risk for “pre-term, low birth weight babies.” They are also at risk of developing pregnancy tumours-that is: inflammatory, benign growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Usually, these tumours shrink soon after the pregnancy. If a woman experiences morning sickness, it is important to neutralize the acid caused by vomiting which causes teeth erosion. Further management can be consulted by a dentist.
During the menopause, some women can experience dry mouth, burning sensation and changes in taste. Gums can even become sore and sensitive. Hormonal replacement therapy may cause gums to bleed, swell and become red.
Diet pills and certain medications can decrease salivary flow, which puts patients at risk for cavities, gum disease and discomfort. Smoking also creates a higher risk for periodontal diseases. Visiting your dentist regularly will help him or her to see any physical changes in your mouth. Your dentist should complete a thorough medical history to determine if you are at a higher risk for such problems.
Also Read: Life begins at Forty!
Pic courtesy: badbreathcenter.com