Hormones a Major Factor to Women’s Oral Health
On the heels of celebrating Mother’s Day, we start the observation of National Women’s Health Week. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is challenging women to become more active in caring for the oral health of themselves and their families. Women have become the primary caretakers in many households and it is often and not uncommon for them to neglect or take a more passive approach to taking care of their own health. However, studies show that if the mother adopts good oral health habits they will encourage their family to maintain bright and healthy smiles.
When it comes to mothers taking on their family’s oral health, it is important for them to educate themselves on good oral health practices – beginning with themselves. There are quite a few factors that influence oral health outcomes in women. AGD outlines and explains how several of those factors affect the oral health of women on their consumer site Know Your Teeth. One of the most critical explained is the role of hormonal changes and how they alter oral health. Several hormonal factors include puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause. Some of these can also contribute to additional oral issues for women such as dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome and gingivitis. It is imperative that women maintain an overall plan for tracking and maintaining their medical health by receiving proper and regular check-ups and physicals. Doctors and dentists can detect oral health issues early with regular visits to the general dentist.
As the medical profession works to decrease or eliminate health disparities, it is important for women to be conscious of the particular role that these health issues are impacting oral health. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood-pressure, auto-immune disorders, cancer and many others play a very vital role in influencing poor oral hygiene. In the November/December 2017 issue of AGD’s peer reviewed journal, General Dentistry, the American Academy of Family Physician Journal (AAFP) contributed an article highlighting the benefits and importance for dentists and physicians to come together and create a system where patient dental and medical records merge. Such a system would afford general dentists and doctors with the opportunity to create a holistic health map identifying the root cause of oral and health issues in their patients.
In summary, when it comes to oral health, biologically women are more susceptible to several contributing factors to the condition of their teeth and gums. However, by keeping regular medical and dental appointments, and with the best practices of oral hygiene, women and mothers can set an example on maintaining good oral health.