Maintaining good oral health is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Healthy teeth and gums have a positive effect on lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Women’s oral health, like general physical health, may be impacted by a variety of factors that occur in different stages of life that are specific to women.
Pregnancy: Almost 40% of pregnant women have some form of periodontal disease and may notice ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ with swollen gums that are bright red and bleed more easily than usual that can even develop gum swellings or ‘pregnancy tumors.’ In addition to the roller coaster of hormones, the mouth is also affected by the stomach acids introduced with morning sickness and the sugary carbs that help curb nausea and cravings. As the ligaments in the body loosen temporarily, your teeth (in addition to your hip joints!) may become more mobile. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be more likely to have a preterm low birth weight baby, so it’s a good idea to be sure to have your mouth and gums checked out if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Menopause: Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouths. You may notice discomfort in your mouth, including dry mouth, pain and burning sensations in the gum tissue with altered taste, especially salty, peppery or sour tastes. Dry mouth may lead to increased susceptibility to dental cavities as well as gingivitis, where the gums appear to be much brighter red and irritated than usual.
Contact us to schedule an appointment if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, or if you are experiencing changes in your mouth consistent with menopause to improve your oral health and reduce the risks associated with periodontal disease.