Women's healthIt should be no surprise that women and men have different dental health needs, and a woman’s dental health can be significantly affected by the hormonal changes that occur throughout her life.

Upon reaching puberty, a woman’s hormonal changes require her to be more aware of her teeth and gums. Here is some excellent information about dental hygiene for women. With puberty comes an increased risk of gingivitis, and proper oral health and hygiene is a must. Since most teenagers are very appearance conscious, it’s typically not too much of a problem to encourage them to brush and floss.

Oral contraceptive use can also create changes that a woman should be aware of, including increased possibility of gingivitis.

Does pregnancy effect your teeth? Yes, pregnancy raises a number of dental health issues. It’s not true that a woman loses “a tooth per child” because of the infant sapping calcium from her teeth (the calcium in your teeth is crystallized and can’t transfer; however calcium can migrate from bones). But morning sickness can cause stomach acid to erode enamel, and food cravings can cause women to eat foods that are more likely to cause cavities.

Regular checkups during pregnancy are extremely important—not just for the mother’s teeth and gums, but there is evidence that suggests periodontal inflammation can be a contributor to premature low birth weight infants.

During menopause, changes in hormones and women can cause mouth discomfort such as dry mouth or burning mouth syndrome. Your dentist can help diagnose and treat these conditions. Menopause also makes women susceptible to osteoporosis, where bones lose calcium. This may affect the jawbone and how teeth (or prosthetics) are anchored into it. Your dentist or doctor may prescribe ways to treat osteoporosis.

Other issues: Eating disorders are much more prevalent in women, and vomiting from bulimia can erode tooth enamel. Lack of nutrition from anorexia can create a number of dental issues.

And women are more likely to develop thyroid conditions, either hyper- or hypo-thyroid disease. These conditions may affect how your dentist treats other tooth and gum issues, particularly in using or prescribing medications, so make sure your dentist knows.

Charlotte Dentistry® strongly encourages our patients to ask questions about issues that can affect their dental health, or the dental health of their children. Feel free to call us, or to come with a list of questions at your next checkup. You can also use the “Ask The Expert” feature on our website to get answers.

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