It’s almost Mother’s Day, the one day on the calendar when moms are pampered and taken care of, but what happens the rest of the year? Moms routinely put everyone else’s needs before their own so that basic health care often gets pushed aside, including their oral health. For women, overlooking oral health needs can have a profound effect on overall health. Of course, everyone needs to take care of their oral health but as a woman, health needs are unique.
Take hormones for example, there are specific times in a woman’s life that extra care is needed. Times when you mature and change, for example, puberty or menopause, and times when you have special health needs, such as pregnancy. It is during these times that your oral health needs change as well. Surprisingly, hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s life can affect many tissues, including gum tissue.
Dental Disease and Women’s Health
Careful periodontal monitoring and excellent oral hygiene is especially important for women who may be noticing changes in their mouths during times of hormonal fluctuation. To help ensure good oral (and overall) health, be sure to:
- See a dental professional for cleaning at least twice a year.
- See a periodontist if you, or your dentist, notice problems with your gum tissue.
Problems may include:
- Bleeding gums during brushing
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of your dentures
Keep your dental professionals informed about any medications you are taking and any changes in your health history. Brush and floss properly every day. Review your techniques with a dental professional to be certain you are doing these tasks correctly.
Links between Oral Health and Overall Health
The Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health states that good oral health is essential to good general health. And specifically, for women, a growing body of research has linked gum disease to a variety of health problems that affect women. Because gum disease is a bacterial infection, it can enter the bloodstream and may be a factor in causing other health complications such as:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory problems
- Pregnancy outcomes: Pregnant women who have gum disease may be more likely to have a baby born too early or too small.
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is important and can help avoid or lessen oral health problems. Remember, you cannot be healthy without healthy gums and teeth!
Just a reminder for Mother’s Day to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and to to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooper click here. Also, now thru May 31 we are offering 10% off GLO whitening systems for all our patients.