Women have many special oral health requirements. Hormonal fluctuations in women may have a strong influence on the mouth. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause all influence a woman’s oral health.
Remember there is a strong connection with your mouth and the rest of your body.
Female hormones increase during puberty and menstruation.
The increase in hormones may raise the blood flow to the gums and allow the gums to become more red and tender, which may lead to bleeding during regular flossing and brushing.
For women who are menstruating, the hormonal fluctuations may cause swollen red gums, bleeding gums, swollen salivary glands, or development of cancer sores.
This may occur a few days before the menstrual cycle and stops after the onset of menstruation.
Pregnancy and your Oral Health
If you are pregnant, please tell Dr. Steffens and continue to see Dr. Steffens during your pregnancy. Also, tell her about any medications or vitamins or supplements that you may be taking.
Pregnant woman are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy as hormone levels change during pregnancy. Gingivitis simply means an infection of the gums which may cause tenderness, redness and swelling. Your gums may also bleed when you floss or brush.
Sometimes red lumps called “pregnancy tumours” may form between the teeth or at the gum line. These swellings are usually harmless during pregnancy however they may bleed easily. They usually will go away on their own after pregnancy or they may be removed.
Some research suggests that periodontal (gum) disease may be associated with preterm deliveries of babies with low birth weight. (4 to 7 times higher risk) as periodontal bacteria were found in the amniotic fluid. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, a deep cleaning and polishing is recommended to reduce the infection and inflammation caused by the gum disease.
Dr. Steffens may recommend more frequent cleanings during pregnancy.
Menopause and Oral Health
During menopause, some oral symptoms may include:
- A burning sensation in the mouth,
- A heightened sensitivity to hot and cold liquids,
- Altered taste sensations
- A decrease in the saliva flow in the mouth which may lead to dry mouth
To help maintain your overall health and protect your mouth against oral disease, Dr. Steffens recommends:
●Visit Dr. Steffens regularly for your professional cleanings. The optimum recommended interval is 3 month cleanings.
●Brush your teeth a minimum of twice daily and floss daily.
●Use toothpaste with fluoride.
●Limit your sweet intake and eat healthy snacks.
●Drink plenty of water.
●Chew sugar free gum to stimulate your saliva flow.