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Women’s Oral Health and Overall Health

According to the American Dental Association, gum disease inflicts an average of three out of four adults at any given period of their lifetime. And due to periodic and erratic hormonal imbalances, women are more susceptible to these concerns. From puberty to post-menopausal stage, a woman’s gums are constantly changing with fluctuating blood supply and exaggerating plaque irritations.

Research shows that periodontal disease (gum disease) is correlated with serious health issues like heart problems, respiratory infections, and diabetes. There’s also a significant association between the pervasiveness of periodontal disease and obesity. The latter is specifically true with 18- to 34-year-old women.

The concurrence between cardiovascular diseases with periodontal problems is based on conclusive research. However, extensive study is still required to show the direct link.

The oral health care requisites of women vary depending on certain critical periods of their lifespan.

Puberty

Before puberty strikes, a girl’s hormone levels are relatively low and stable. Their oral health, then, usually hinges on other factors. These factors typically include their maintenance and diet. However, they also extend to a predisposition towards certain diseases, either genetically or environmentally.By the time they reach puberty, however, their hormone levels are significantly heightened. With estrogen and progesterone up, blood flow to the gums increases. Because of this, their gums may swell and may be more sensitive to flossing and brushing, particularly in the presence of plaque. This inflammatory response happens because a woman’s mouth has a harder time fighting off plaque compared to when she has normal hormone levels.While you can’t do much to fight this off, the best course of action is to still keep to a solid dental hygiene foundation. Even if brushing and flossing might be uncomfortable at this time, continuing can prevent worse ailments. Just be a little gentle.

Menstruation

During the menstrual cycle, progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate regularly. As such, these fluctuations may wreak a little havoc on a woman’s gums and mouth. The swollen gums from puberty become a mainstay during this time. Pre-menstruation, a woman may encounter what some call “menstrual gingivitis.” This condition bears the same symptoms as a regular bout of gingivitis. The symptoms, however, go away once a woman’s cycle begins. Other problems may include oral sores.Much like puberty, the only way to combat this is to keep to your dental routine. In the case of gingivitis, you can consult your dentist on mitigating the symptoms. Lessening your sugar intake might also bring down the swelling while starving. But even if they don’t, it can nonetheless give your oral bacteria less fuel for the fire.

Pregnancy

Gingivitis is prevalent to approximately 75 percent of pregnant women. This gum problem typically intensifies during the second trimester, becomes most severe in the eighth month, and begins to subside in the ninth. Pregnancy-related gingivitis is accompanied by swelling, redness, and bleeding. These symptoms arise as the progesterone level in the body adversely affects the gums.

Aside from gingivitis, pregnant women are also prone to pregnancy tumors. This condition arises from the exaggerated inflammatory reaction to irritants like tartar, plaque, and food scraps. Common during the third month of pregnancy, these growths are often painless. Unfortunately, its interferences with chewing can be a problem.

While your immune system is partially responsible for keeping your body (and fetus) healthy, letting oral bacteria multiply excessively can be too much for your body to fight off. It can also cause other health ailments in the future.

Both pregnancy-related gingivitis and tumors are treatable. Note that pregnancy tumors are not a form of cancer, so there’s no need to be deeply anxious if you have it. Still, extra care is necessary as these conditions may advance to more serious complications.

Those expecting should still attend their biannual dental visits, or more if necessary, to ensure their oral standing is where it needs to be. Please notify your dentist if you are pregnant to provide specific treatments, materials, and such are not used if they are risky for fetuses in the womb.

Menopause

Another significant change in hormones in a woman’s life comes through menopause, which again can cause oral health issues. Menopause marks the cessation of menstrual cycles. Generally occurring around age 45 to 55, this normal transition is associated with certain oral symptoms. Symptoms might include an altered taste, dry mouth, gum inflammation, oral bone loss, and burning gums. The culprits of these menopausal changes are often due to certain medical conditions, medications, vitamin deficiencies, and hormonal changes.

The growth to womanhood is definitely hurdled by various health threats juxtaposed at certain phases of their lives. As a girl develops, it is important to remember that the best and most fundamental defense against the risks of oral health conditions is diligent care.

Indeed, most of these conditions women face may not all be able to be avoided (or may not be applicable). When it does come to them, however, women need to be especially attentive to their oral health to ensure changes in hormones aren’t the primary cause of their oral health problems.

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