Women and men face different oral health concerns because of the chemicals in their bodies and the experiences they come across in their lifetimes. Women in particular go through a number of changes in their oral health from the time they hit puberty to the time they go through menopause. The information below explains some of the most common oral health changes for women to help you see how your smile may transform over time.
Oral Health Changes From Menstruation
Every woman reacts a little bit differently to menstruation. Some experience heavy cramps and bloating, while others become emotional and fatigued. In the case of oral health, menstruation may bring about cold sores, canker sores, swollen gums, or bleeding gums. These symptoms usually go away once the period actually starts, but they can be painful precursors for those who encounter them.
Oral Health Changes From Contraceptives
If you take an oral contraceptive to avoid getting pregnant, you may experience inflamed gums. This is not a common side effect of long-term contraceptives, like IUDs, but it is typical in patients who take birth control pills.
Oral Health Changes From Pregnancy
Any woman who has gone through a pregnancy knows just how drastically the female body can change during this time. Hormonal and physical shifts can bring about plenty of oral health concerns, including pregnancy gingivitis and gum sensitivity. With proper prenatal care, the symptoms for these concerns are usually minimized.
Oral Health Changes From Menopause
Menopause brings out a whole new set of oral health concerns for women, including red or inflamed gums, oral pain and discomfort, dry mouth, burning sensations, and altered tastes. Many women going through menopause will have to change their diets completely because they no longer taste food in the same way. This experience should correct itself after menopause.
Oral Health Changes From Osteoporosis
Many women develop osteoporosis in the latter parts of their lives. Several research studies have linked osteoporosis to bone loss in the jaw. This bone loss can cause you to lose teeth over time because the density of the bone supporting the teeth is reduced. Patients who have gum disease and osteoporosis lose bone mass at an accelerated rate.
No matter what age you are, you need to focus on proper oral health routines. Brush your teeth twice a day and come in twice a year for professional cleaning. Doing this will ensure a long-lasting smile that fights the odds.