Dental Care for Women – from Puberty to Menopause
Women have different oral health issues to men due to the hormonal changes that take place throughout life. These hormonal changes affect the way blood is supplied to the gum tissues, and the body’s response to plaque bacteria. Changes in hormone levels mean women are more prone towards developing gum disease at certain times throughout their life. These times include puberty, during menstruation, while taking birth control pills, during pregnancy and during the menopause.
At this time there is an increase in progesterone and estrogen levels which increases the flow of blood to the gums and increases the sensitivity of the gum tissue towards plaque. As a result the gums are more likely to bleed when brushed and flossed and may look red and swollen.
This causes an increase in progesterone and as a result women are more likely to experience bleeding gums and could develop a condition called menstruation gingivitis that begins a day or so before menstruation and clears up shortly after it’s begun. During menstruation women are also more likely to develop canker sores.
Birth Control Pills
Certain types of birth control pills contain progesterone, and increased levels of this hormone can produce an exaggerated reaction in the gum tissue towards plaque. If you are on the pill it’s important to let your dentist know just in case you require extra dental care.
Pregnancy causes a considerable variation in hormone levels, in particular in progesterone and this can lead to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis developing between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. If you are pregnant then your dentist at Midtown Dentistry might recommend more frequent checkups and professional cleanings to help reduce the chances of you developing pregnancy gingivitis.
The menopause brings about its own hormonal changes that can lead to altered taste and an unpleasant condition called burning mouth. It’s also a time when many older people need to take medications that may affect oral health. These medications might increase the chances of dry mouth where insufficient saliva is produced to keep the mouth comfortable, and as a result the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease can increase. At this time estrogen levels also decline and this can lead to a loss of bone density which can be a problem especially if it occurs in the jaw.
Midtown Dentistry is able to provide dental care regardless of your age and can advise you and offer practical help and advice at all stages throughout your life. Additional dental care at these times can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, increasing the likelihood that they’ll last a lifetime.
Call us at (713) 807-9877 or use the button below to Ask a Question or Schedule Your Appointment to have Dr. Jonathan Penchas or one of his expert staff examine your teeth.