If you are a woman (or you know a least one woman), chances are you have first-hand experience with puberty, pregnancy or menopause. These three stages bring about tremendous change, not just from an emotional standpoint but also on a biological level.
Being a woman is a spectacular journey, each milestone accompanied by advantages and challenges. Fluctuating hormones can help your body transition from prepubescence to womanhood in puberty. Surges of hormones can help create the perfect conditions for a microscopic cluster of cells to transform into a baby. The depletion of viable eggs and the hormonal changes surrounding these processes can help bring on menopause.
How do hormonal changes impact a woman’s oral health? Let’s dive into these three stages and highlight some key points that can help women take charge of their oral health during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
Puberty could be a contributing factor in the change of a teenager’s oral health. The difference in hormones can affect the gums resulting in tenderness and even bleeding. This issue is common in females but can also affect males to a lesser degree. During a dental visit, our team educates teenagers so they can be aware of the changes in their oral health. We also provide them with tools that may help them stay vigilant with the way they care for their mouths. Puberty can also affect emotions bringing on cravings for sweet, salty and carbohydrate ladened junk foods that are no good for the teeth. Teens need to have healthier options on hand, which will be not only good for their mouths but also favorable for their growing bodies.
During pregnancy, women may experience changes in their oral health due to the change in their hormones. For some women, their gums may become inflamed and prone to bleeding. Throughout pregnancy, sustaining a consistent oral health routine and a healthy diet is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth for mommy and baby.
In menopause, the medications used to help balance hormones could decrease salivary flow, which can result in dry mouth. Not producing enough saliva can damage teeth because it washes away food and neutralizes acids that are created by plaque. Senior women may also experience altered tastes and increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
We usually recommend that seniors visit us every six months. Senior patients who have more frequent visits have reported that within 3-4 months, they feel relief.
KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER DURING THESE THREE MILESTONES
1. Brush your teeth twice per day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
2. Floss once per day
2. Reach for healthier treats instead of sweets
3. Limit simple carbs
5. Regular dental visits
4. Increase your dental visits by booking an appointment every six months if you are a senior woman experiencing menopause.