share visit
19Sep2012

What Every Woman Should Know About Her Oral Health

WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE’RE YOUR ORTHODONTIC PRACTICE, not your general dentist. However, as one of your lifelong health partners we’re concerned, here at our practice, about your complete oral health. That’s why we feel like it’s important to provide relevant and useful information that’s often not orthodontics specific.

Did you realize that women have special challenges when it comes to their oral health? Hormonal cycles can affect the way women’s bodies react to bacteria and plaque inside their mouths. If you’re a woman—or if you’d like to pass this information along to a woman who could benefit from it—our team encourages you to learn more about these important dental facts.

Hormonal Cycles Can Affect Gums

Puberty, pregnancy, and menstruation cause increased progesterone and estrogen levels which can lead to increased gum sensitivity. There’s also a condition known as menstruation gingivitis, which can cause some women to experience increased bleeding and swollen gums right before menstruation. This condition is typically not serious and clears up quickly. Gingivitis during pregnancy can be more severe, and may even cause non-cancerous oral tumors. That’s another reason why it’s important for women to keep their regular checkup appointments with their general dentist during pregnancy.

Oral contraceptives also increase hormonal levels in women’s bodies which can cause increased sensitivity and vulnerability to gum disease. During menopause, hormonal fluctuations can also create oral health problems including dry mouth syndrome, which can significantly add to a woman’s tooth decay risk.

Other Oral Health Problems That Are More Likely To Affect Women

  • Women are almost twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders). TMD causes strain on one’s jaw joint and potential damage to teeth, often as a result of clenching and/or teeth grinding.
  • HPV is becoming more common, and research is increasingly suggesting a link between HPV and oral cancer. Regular oral cancer screenings are important whether or not a woman has high risk factors.
  • As you know, women are much more susceptible to osteoporosis than men which can cause jaw bone loss and associated periodontal disease problems.

The Great News? Women Take Better Care Of Their Oral Health!

As you might expect, a helpful remedy in many instances is to simply maintain good dental health habits! Fortunately, women are better at this than men! A recent study of over 800 young men and women shows:

  • Women are more consistent when it comes to regular checkups
  • Women exhibit better attitudes toward dentistry in general
  • Women have better personal dental habits

OK… Here’s Just A Fun Little Aside From “The View”

This isn’t orthodontics (or even dentistry) specific, but it’s a fun little twist on our discussion. Enjoy!

Questions? 

Obviously, if you have questions about any aspect of your orthodontic treatment, be sure to ask us! But in addition, we’re happy to visit about ANY dental or health-related concern you have. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll go out of our way to point you in the best direction to find the answer! There are lots of easy ways to connect with us—and we promise to be very responsive! You can make a comment below, or even connect with us on our Facebook page.

YOU are a valued part of our orthodontic practice. Thanks for being our patient!

Discussion

2 responses to "What Every Woman Should Know About Her Oral Health"

  • shelly cole says:

    Oral health is very important. I was diagnosed with mucoepidermoid carcinoma and it is no picnic. People seem to think that oral cancer is more benign than other cancers and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is just as deadly as any other. Oral care professionals need to be made more aware of this disease. They need to make it part of their protocol to screen for oral cancer. If I hadn’t been more persistent, I would have been dead and that is no joke. I was told by an oral care professional that the lump in my mouth was a good sign, that the bone was healing from my root canal. He didn’t even look. Two different doctors misdiagnosed me with a blocked salivary gland without ever doing one test. I had an ENT, do a lymph biopsy and had me remove my tooth because of pain, even though I had a noticeable painful lump under my tongue. So doctors be aware! Don’t rush to judgement and do the appropriate tests!

    • Dear Shelly,
      Thank you for sharing your history with us. It is important for all individuals to be screened routinely for oral cancer. Thank you for making us more aware of mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Anyone with a questionnable bump, lump, or lesion in their mouth should seek a biopsy immediately done by a specialist. “When in doubt, check it out”. Do the appropriate tests. Thank you for making oral care professionals and the general public more aware of oral cancer. My very best wishes to you in your recovery.

Leave a Comment