Believe it or not, there are major differences between men and women when it comes to dental health. For example, women are more likely to brush, go to the dentist, and are less likely to experience tooth trauma than men. It’s not all good news, though; they are also more prone to sudden onset of oral concerns due to the fluctuation of their hormones. At Dental Solutions of Mississippi, we are concerned with the overall health of every one of our patients – male and female, alike. We simply wish to educate the ladies on their unique dental concerns. Below are just some of the female-specific causes of oral health conditions.
#1 – Puberty
As if the raging hormones of puberty weren’t already bad enough, they can also lead to gum inflammation. The hormones cause the gum tissue to be over-sensitive, resulting in red and swollen gums. Despite the discomfort, it is still important for teenaged girls to brush and floss daily, as not removing plaque and bacteria that hide between the teeth can result in even more inflammation.
#2 – Menstruation
If you notice that you experience swollen or bleeding gums in the days just before your period, it could be the results of hormones. Continue brushing and flossing as you would each day; if the swelling and bleeding don’t subside after your period, make an appointment to see Dr. Ruth Roach Morgan so she can rule out other causes of gum concerns.
#3 – Oral Contraceptives
Birth control pills themselves don’t usually cause any oral conditions in and of themselves, but they are still relevant to your dental care. If a treatment requires the use of antibiotics, they could reduce the efficacy of your birth control; if a treatment requires an extraction, they could increase your likelihood of experiencing dry socket. Be sure to let all of the professionals on your medical and dental team know if you are taking oral contraceptives (or any other medications, for that matter) to avoid unnecessary complications.
#4 – Pregnancy
Some time between the second and eighth months of pregnancy, women may experience red, swollen, and tender gums. This hormone-induced gingivitis can be minimized by vigilant brushing and flossing. Dr. Ruth Roach Morgan may recommend more frequent cleanings during your pregnancy to help prevent gingivitis or any other oral problems that may crop up as a result of pregnancy hormones.
#5 – Menopause
Menopausal and postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for cavities and tooth loss. Why? Some women experience dry-mouth. The lack of saliva directly affects the body’s natural ability to clean the bacteria off of teeth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Bone density is also affected as a result of menopause, and a weakened jaw bone can result in tooth loss, particularly when paired with decay.
The good news is that most of these problems can be avoided or, at the very least, minimized by taking care of your teeth during every stage of your life. Brushing after every meal, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year can go a long way in protecting that smile.
If you’d like to learn more about your dental health, we’d love to talk to you – male or female. Whatever your particular risk factors or goals, Dental Solutions of Mississippi can give you something to smile about. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.