Oral Health Conditions and Oral Care Practices at Different Stages of a Woman’s Life

It may seem pretty easy to maintain oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist. Simple, right? However, for women, oral health is way more complicated than men’s. A woman’s oral health is dependent a lot upon her reproductive cycle and age. Don’t get us wrong; regardless of your age, you should always brush and floss your teeth. What we mean is that some life stages require extra care. 

So, no matter how healthy you eat or exercise, hormone levels will affect your oral health. As a woman, your hormone levels mostly fluctuate during adolescence, periods, pregnancy, and menopause. You may experience hormonal fluctuation if you take contraceptives as well. The hormonal changes influence your body’s responses against any viruses or toxins that come from the plaque. For that reason, women are more prone to any oral health problem. 

Oral health problems such as premature tooth loss, cavities, and alveolar bone loss create discomfort in your life. Moreover, the production of saliva changes throughout the years, and these changes can affect speech and taste. If your saliva production is low, this could result in cavities or other types of tooth damages. Although, with the introduction of pain-free dentistry, even complicated dental procedures have become painless now, still, why take any chances when with proper knowledge, you can altogether avoid such issues.  

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To make you understand more about each life stage, below, we have explained some typical oral health complaints at different points in a woman’s life.

Puberty and Menstruation

Before your periods start, you might feel your gums swollen or bleeding. Or, in some cases, you’ll experience cold sores. Fortunately, these symptoms will be over as soon as your period starts. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t take it for granted. Sometimes, the symptoms might be more serious. Especially if you’re taking contraceptives. Remember to follow the oral health routine.

Birth Control

If you take birth control pills, you might experience a fluctuation in your hormonal levels. You can blame progesterone, an important component of any contraceptive. That’s why gum inflammation can happen. 

If you take birth control pills, make sure a doctor prescribes them. Moreover, if you have any issues with your birth control pills, you should be upfront about it. You should also inform your doctor about any other medicine you’re taking. Antibiotics can seriously cause damages when mixed with birth control pills. Nonetheless, your doctor will advise you best on how to keep a beautiful smile! 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a period of personal growth for any woman. However, pregnancy is also the most crucial stage in your life when you’ll experience hormonal fluctuations. You might experience “pregnancy gingivitis”. Inflated and sore gums characterize this condition. According to the American Pregnancy Association, your hormonal levels will increase your bloodstreams, which will lead to irritated and sensitive gums. 

A more serious problem during pregnancy is that the hormonal levels will affect your body’s ability to fight bacteria, as a study suggests. That’s why tooth decay can happen as a result of plaque accumulation on your teeth. If you’re wondering how to protect your oral health during pregnancy, we have some useful tips. 

Dentists suggest that women who brush their teeth after eating, and floss at least once a day, are in the right place. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t neglect to see your dentist about any concern you might have. Remember, as your baby grows in your womb, it is essential you consume the vital nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, and calcium. To prevent tooth decay, choose nutritious food.

One last thing, during pregnancy, you might experience morning sickness. After your morning sickness, make sure to wait at least 30 minutes to wash your teeth. Please do so, since vomit may be dangerous for your teeth, because of the acid it contains. Doctors also suggest using baking soda and leaving it on your teeth for at least 30 seconds to prevent tooth erosion.

Menopause

Menopause can be a challenging stage for a woman. You should always consult your doctor to know more about your health, and especially your oral health. You shouldn’t neglect any issues that may appear. Some of the symptoms include dry mouth, change in mucus production levels, and inflammation of the gums, as mentioned in a study. You might also feel the intense pain of your teeth and gums.

Regularly consulting your doctor will prevent some issues from happening. For example, dry mouth is an issue that requires immediate attention to avoid any severe damage. You can treat dry mouth by drinking water or avoiding dehydrating food or drinks. Inflamed gums can be treated by taking vitamin D and calcium through healthy eating.

Hormone therapy plays a vital role in maintaining oral health for women who undergo menopause. Estrogen therapy may help to prevent bone loss and any tooth loss. Doctors suggest it all the time these days, and we believe you should consider it. 

Final Words

Maybe as a woman, you won’t be able to avoid the challenges that come with your life stages. However, what you can avoid is the diseases and the damage your hormonal changes may cause to your teeth and your overall health.

Being cautious about your oral health and regularly brushing your teeth is a part of that. Visiting your dentist at least once every three months, and choosing healthy food over any snack can help too. And last, stay informed about any of the oral conditions. The more you know about your teeth, the easier it will be to keep a healthy and beautiful smile.

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