Do Women Need More Dental Attention?
It's official. Women and men are not created dentally equal. Of course, good dental hygiene habits are the same for all people, regardless of gender. But growing evidence shows women may be significantly more susceptible to serious health consequences from poor oral health. Even oral cancer, which used to affect men six times more than women, now affects men only twice as often as women. In fact, in every season of a woman's life, special precautions should be taken to preserve oral health.
Puberty and Oral Health
High hormone levels during puberty can result in sensitive gums. Irritation of the gums by plaque and food particles can cause redness and swelling. When this happens, periodontal therapy may help prevent damage to oral tissues. Brushing and flossing after meals will help reduce the cause of irritation. The sensitivity and resulting irritation will lessen as puberty progresses.
Menstruation and Oral Health
Monthly hormone fluctuations and the resulting increased salivary proteins make women prone to bad breath just prior to their monthly cycles. To combat this, brush more diligently, floss more carefully, use a tongue scraper after each meal, and use a chlorine-stabilized, alcohol-free mouth rinse every five hours
Pregnancy and Oral Health
A mother's dental health impacts not only her own oral health but also the health of her unborn child's developing teeth as early as six weeks after conception. Increases in gingivitis, plaque, and non-cancerous tumors of the mouth during pregnancy are blamed on surging hormones. Good oral health is essential for women of child-bearing age because periodontal disease can result in low-birth-weight babies or pre-term births. The often painless, silent, and undetected disease affects 800,000 Americans annually, and an estimated 18 percent of low-weight births may be brought on by periodontal disease. Dentists encourage pregnant women to have a thorough cleaning during the first trimester and a short checkup in each of the following trimesters.
Older Women and Oral Health
The presence of periodontal disease in women is closely linked to the incidence of osteoporosis. To make matters worse, after 35 years of age, periodontal disease in women is often a precursor to permanent tooth loss. In fact, studies show that half of women who are eleven or more years post-menopause have lost at least one tooth. Why? Gum disease leads to gum detachment, which can lead to tooth loss; furthermore, tooth loss is linked to overall bone loss. Thus, in addition to vigilant home hygiene, older women should schedule regular dental and medical checkups.
How to Improve Women's Oral Health
As a woman concerned with her health, how can you reduce the possibility of gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth loss? Regular checkups, daily brushing and flossing, and an extra dental visit whenever you notice a change in your teeth or gums can help. A healthy diet with plenty of vitamins C and B-12, calcium, and vitamin D for calcium absorption will maintain strong oral conditions. As with most diseases and medical conditions, the earlier a problem is detected, the better the chance for successful treatment and full recovery.
Commitment to Helping Female Patients Achieve Optimal Oral Health
At our Madison / Sun Prairie cosmetic dentistry practice, Dr. Lotowski along with his highly skilled team of dental professionals are committed to improving the oral health of all of their patients. For female patients, our facility offers a wide range of dental solutions to improve the health, appearance and function of the teeth and mouth. As a result, teeth whitening , porcelain veneers , dental implants Sun Prairie patients are able to enjoy the benefits of exceptional oral health following their treatment. In order to alleviate the anxiety and fears of some patients, we offer sedation dentistry solutions such as nitrous oxide.