Women and Periodontal Health
A woman will go through a variety of natural hormonal fluctuations during her life that will have an impact on her entire body. A woman’s hormones can fluctuate during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. When a woman’s hormones change, she can be at an elevated risk for developing periodontal disease.
When a female’s body enters into puberty, there is an increased level of sexual hormones. These hormones can cause gum sensitivity to increase. Aside from plaque, tartar, food, and bacteria, these hormones can cause an further irritation. As a result, a female in puberty may experience gums that are swollen, sensitive, and red.
Before a woman begins menstruation, she may experience bleeding gums, painful swelling between the teeth and gums, and sores inside her mouth. Although these symptoms will fade after menstruation begins, it is something that will usually happen to women every month, which puts them at an increased risk for developing periodontal disease.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body will go through a wide range of chances, which includes her mouth. Usually, when a woman is in the second to the eighth month of pregnancy, she may notice that her gums are red, sensitive, swollen, and may bleed. Furthermore, a woman may have lumps develop inside her mouth as a reaction to certain irritants, but these lumps are rarely cancerous and are painless. In most cases, the lumps will diminish after the woman has given birth, but there are times when she will need to have them removed. If a female has poor oral health, it can affect the unborn child because there is an increased risk of infection.
Oral contraceptives can cause oral problems because they are synthetic hormones. These synthetic hormones can result in the same symptoms that occur when a woman’s natural hormones fluctuate. Oral contraceptives can cause redness of the gums, irritation, tenderness, and bleeding. When a female is having a dental procedure, which can include a cleaning or routine exam, it is vital that she informs the dentist she is on an oral contraceptive. If a female does not tell her dentist she is on an oral contraceptive and needs an antibiotic, the dentist could prescribe her a medication that will cause the contraceptive to be less effective.
With menopause, there are a variety of changes that will happen to a woman’s body. During and after menopause, a woman’s mouth could feel and appear different. A menopausal woman may experience burning gums, dry mouth, and swelling. Furthermore, a woman going through menopause may also experience unpleasant tastes.
What can a Woman do to Prevent Periodontal Disease?
There are many factors that can contribute to periodontal disease, which include poor oral hygiene. If a woman wants to take preventative measures to protect herself from periodontal disease, then here are a few important suggestions:
Visit a Dentist Regularly
This is the most important step a female can take to ensure periodontal health is maintained. If a woman does not visit a dentist on a regular basis, then it can cause excessive plaque and tartar to accumulate on her teeth. This can significantly increase her chances of developing periodontal disease. It is advised that an indiviudal visit a dentist every six months for routine cleanings and exams.
Practice Proper Oral Care
Maintaining a healthy smile is dependent on how well an indiviudal practices proper oral hygiene, which is especially important for women. Proper oral hygienic practices include brushing your teeth twice per day for two minutes. When brushing your teeth, be sure not to apply excessive pressure, which can irritate the gums. It is also vital to floss everyday, which will remove any food that is lodged between teeth. When you floss, you are also removing bacteria from areas that a toothbrush is not able to reach. You should also be sure to replace your toothbrush at least every three months.
Do not Smoke
Smoking will increase the risk of an individual developing periodontal disease. When an individual smokes, he or she will accumulate more tartar on their teeth as opposed to a non-smoker. Smokers are also at an increased risk of bone loss. If a woman smokes, she is putting her oral health and overall health at risk.
A woman’s body goes through hormonal changes throughout her life that make her susceptible to developing oral problems. There has been research that has linked periodontal disease to serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, with proper oral care, women can maintain periodontal health and overall health.
To achieve optimal oral health, it is important to visit a dentist on a regular basis. If you are in need of a cleaning, exam, or any other dental work, then contact us.