Last fall, we featured a post about men and oral health. Well, ladies, now it’s your turn. The good news is that women generally take better care of their teeth than men, but you’re not quite off the hook. Because of their hormones, women have unique concerns when it comes to their oral health. At Reston Serenity Smiles, we want our female patients to be well-informed so they can keep their teeth and mouths as healthy as possible. The following list of factors will allow you to be proactive when it comes to your oral health.
Puberty – At the onset of puberty, hormone fluctuations can cause girls to experience red and swollen gums and canker sores. Because of the discomfort associated with swollen gums and canker sores, girls may be inclined to brush and floss less, which only exacerbates the problem. Brushing and flossing daily will reduce the chances of painful gingivitis or periodontitis; canker sores usually heal on their own, but a topical numbing gel may be used to ease discomfort as the sores heal.
Menstruation – Some women experience swollen and bleeding gums a few days before their period begins. As always, it’s important to continue brushing and flossing, despite the discomfort. If you do experience sensitivity before your period, consider scheduling cleanings for about a week after your cycle ends.
Oral Contraceptives – While the hormones in birth control pills won’t cause you any discomfort, it is still important for your dentist to know if you are taking them. If any additional medications are necessary during your dental cleaning or treatment, they could interfere with the efficacy of your birth control.
Pregnancy – Hold on to your saddles, because you’re in for a “bumpy” ride. Maintaining your oral health regimen is more important than ever during pregnancy. Any dental procedures during the first trimester are off limits, so to avoid pregnancy gingivitis, brush and floss EVERY DAY. Dr. Kazemifar may suggest more frequent cleanings during your second and third trimesters to ensure that you stay healthy.
Menopause – The “change” will bring all sorts of changes to your mouth, but two of particular concern are mouth dryness and bone loss. Saliva not only aids the digestive process, but it cleans your teeth and gums, as well; those who experience dry mouth are more susceptible to cavities and gingivitis. Bone loss in any part of your body is a frightening idea, but bone loss in your jaw can lead to tooth loss. One sure way to stay on top of bone loss is to see your dentist at least twice a year; any imaging that is done at your appointments will help us evaluate the density of your jaw and be proactive, helping you preserve your teeth.
We want every patient of Reston Serenity Smiles to be healthy, men and women alike. An important part of maintaining your health is making sure you are informed about risk factors that may affect you or a loved one. Whether you’re a pregnant female or an adolescent male, your dental health is our priority. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kazemifar, contact our office today.