When woman experiences puberty, goes through her menstrual cycle every month or when she gets pregnant, she has special health needs that directly affects her oral health…
By Dr Deepti Sharma
Oral health education can be gender-specific because there are oral conditions that only women experience. While it is important for both men and women to brush and floss daily as well as have a diet that will benefit their oral health, women go through physiological conditions that can affect their oral health.
When woman experiences puberty, goes through her menstrual cycle every month or when she gets pregnant, she has special health needs that directly affects her oral health. During these times, the body goes through hormonal changes, and these changes in hormones affects the gum tissues in the mouth. This results in gum sensitivity as well as an increased susceptibility to gum disease.
Gum disease is called periodontal disease, and it is caused by a build-up of dental plaque around the teeth and gums. This plaque contains bacteria, which release toxins that can affect the gums. There are several symptoms of gum disease, such as redness, swelling and bleeding, but during the early stages, it is possible for the gums not to feel pain. It is more problematic when the gum disease is located in areas that cannot be cleaned easily, and regular brushing or flossing will not be able to help. We offer procedures for deep teeth and gum cleaning to help prevent the onset of gum disease.
When a woman goes through puberty, there is an increase in the level of estrogen and progesterone in the body. The increased level of hormones results in an increase of blood flow through the body, including the gums. The increased blood flow can result in tenderness of the gums, which can result in bleeding during tooth brushing. When there are exposed surfaces in the gums, this can lead to bacterial infection.
There is a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis”, because it is common in pregnant women. During pregnancy, there is a significant increase of progesterone in the body, which leads to gingivitis. Indeed, pregnant women are so sensitive to gingivitis that they can experience this condition even when they have very little plaque buildup in their mouth.If left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can have long-lasting or permanent negative effects on your oral health. Your gums, teeth and tongue can be affected and can result in tissue or bone loss. If you are expecting, it is important to have good oral health before and during your pregnancy. We have experience treating and helping pregnant women with gum disease problems.
Before her menstrual cycle, a woman’s body experiences an increase in progesterone, which again increases the blood flow to the gums. During this time, it is not uncommon for women to experience gingivitis as well have sores on the tongue. To reduce the pain and discomfort during this time, good oral hygiene can lessen the bacterial buildup in the mouth.
Good Oral Health for All Stages of Life
It is important to always make sure that you have good oral health, no matter how old you are. As a woman, taking care of your oral health will help you take care of your overall health.
(The author is BDS,P.G.D.F,CERT (WMD) at Dr. Sharma’s Dental Care,CMPDI Road, Shobhalok Building Jaripatka, Nagpur and Chairwomen of SSD Seva Mission and SNA Social Welfare Foundation Medical Branch, Nagpur.)