Women have to deal with a number of challenges related to hormones, but they may not realize that hormones also play a role in their oral health. The Academy of General Dentistry’s monthly magazine, AGD Impact, discusses the correlation between female hormones and oral health it’s information every woman can use.
Hormonal changes and oral health
The various stages of a woman’s life that include puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause all cause hormonal changes that can affect oral health. The fluctuating hormones during puberty can increase a female’s risk of gingivitis. Gums may bleed and appear swollen and red. If a woman is prone to developing cold or canker sores may experience a pattern where these mouth issues happen every month.
Oral health and pregnancy
Gingivitis is the most common oral issue associated with pregnancy as the body experiences various hormonal changes. A pregnant woman’s saliva changes and it loses some of its antimicrobial abilities, which can lead to oral health issues. Dry mouth is another common issue during pregnancy and this can lead to decay and the development of cavities. The dentist can provide helpful solutions for pregnant women experiencing dry mouth such as drinking more water, changing toothpastes and avoiding rinses with alcohol that dry out the mouth. Unfortunately, many women avoid dental visits during pregnancy because they’re afraid of harming the baby and this is unwise as untreated dental issues such as decay can increase the risk of both mother and child developing an infection.
Menopause and oral health
Along with all of the other symptoms women have to deal with during menopause, it can also lead to oral conditions. These conditions include burning sensations, dry mouth and altered taste perception. Any woman experiencing such symptoms needs to consult with their dentist to rule out other possible causes for the changes and to get advice on suitable treatments.
Other potential conditions
Although both men and women can suffer from eating disorders, it’s a larger problem in women. Eating disorders including bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, pica, food addiction and binge eating can all cause serious oral health issues. Anyone seeking treatment for these disorders and recovering from them should consult with their dentist about various ways to restore the health and appearance of their smile as they regain their overall health.
A woman and her dentist should work together to create treatment and prevention plans that protect her oral health through all life stages. Contact Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics to set up a consultation today.