Women: Tend to your Oral Health

by Dr. Anson Hooper, DDS, Hooper Family Dental

Growing up with three brothers it never crossed my mind that women’s health would be such an important component of my life. However, I was blessed with a wife and two daughters, and my perspective quickly changed.

I promptly learned that women encounter a unique set of systemic health concerns that men don’t, and women’s oral health is no different.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the matter, but we do know several factors that affect oral health in women. They include:

  • Fluctuating hormone levels during the menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Oral contraceptive use

These and other factors can undermine women’s systemic health and raise the risk of complications to oral health stability.

Pregnancy is one of the most taxing because of morning sickness and acid reflux and their ability to cause the breakdown of the protective barrier against tooth decay, thereby causing the onset of cavity formation.

Research has also confirmed that severe gum disease increases the likelihood of preterm birth accompanied by a low birthweight.

Oral health issues also have been implicated in an increased risk of systemic health concerns for women, including diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Routine cleanings and a healthy diet play a significant role in our oral health, which affects our overall health. When evaluating where you are with your health it’s important to keep your oral health in mind!