As the week from Monday, September 7 until Friday, September 11, 2020 is Women’s Health Week, we wanted to focus on this topic and explain why oral health is important for women.
Oral care is an essential part of women’s health due to unique body changes which may only affect females. Some issues are derived from hormonal changes within a female’s body which can occur during stages such as pregnancy.
In some cases, your hormonal changes may affect the blood supply to your gum tissue. This may alter how your body deals with plaque and toxins within your mouth. Therefore, you may be at more risk of developing issues such as periodontal disease (gum disease).
Your overall wellbeing is important, and your body may react differently throughout different stages of your life. Through these times, it is particularly important to maintain good oral health.
Our team has outlined key stages in your life which may require you to take more care of your oral health. Furthermore, we have provided tips on how to stay on top of your oral hygiene and outlined some bad habits to avoid.
Common oral health issues amongst women
According to the National Women’s Health Network, women may be more at risk to oral health issues during:
- Their menstrual cycle
During these unique periods in your life, your gums may react to plaque differently, so it is important you regularly maintain your oral health. This also can be caused by the fluctuating hormone levels you endure during these periods.
On average, one in four women avoid the dentist during pregnancy. The Australian Dental Association explain that women might be at more risk of tooth decay due to the morning sickness and acid reflux they might experience during pregnancy.
As well as cavities, women may also develop issues such as:
- Gum disease
- Pregnancy oral tumours
Some other early warning signs of these issues may lead your gums to:
- Become inflamed
Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral health during this stage of your life to eliminate the chance of developing oral issues. If untreated, oral concerns tend to affect other parts of your body which may cause conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
What are signs of poor oral health?
There are many signs of poor oral health which may not be noticeable at first. When you are assessing your oral health, it is important to understand the condition of your mouth and identify any changes which may occur over time. If you notice any sudden changes, you should consult with your dentist.
Some symptoms to look out for include:
Bad habits that affect your oral health
From time to time, we may like to indulge in certain snacks or undertake bad habits subconsciously. We have outlined several habits you may want to rethink to avoid igniting oral issues.
Smoking may increase your risk of cancer and oral conditions such as tooth loss and staining your teeth. This might be something you want to avoid, especially during pregnancy as you are not meant to smoke whilst pregnant.
Soft drinks may be good in moderation. However, too much of these sugary drinks may lead to cavities and plaque forming within your teeth.
Do you know what is underneath your nails? Sometimes we might bite our nails subconsciously during an intense movie or event. Depending on what activities you do during the day, there could be bacteria or dirt particles underneath. If you are a nail biter, make sure to wash your hands regularly.
Over time, nail biting also influences your teeth to wear away which can lead to them becoming chipped or cracked.
Stay on top of your oral health
Although it may be hard to give up your sugary snacks every now and then, it is good to be self-conscious sometimes and choose an alternative, healthier option.
Your craving for a snack may increase during stages such as pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to continue to keep up with good oral hygiene practices.
It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to maintain your oral health. These good hygiene methods may help to give your mouth a proper clean and displace any plaque or left-over food within your mouth.
Furthermore, we recommend you visit your dentist once every 6 months to ensure a dental professional can monitor your oral health. This way, they can identify any issues which may occur and provide solutions or treatments to resolve or contain the condition.
About Women’s Health Week
Women’s Health Week is a week dedicated to all women in order to create positive awareness around the topic of women’s health and their wellbeing.
The campaign is run by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health. It is a not-for-profit organisation bringing awareness to women and providing information, resources, and clinical care to assist them in managing their health.