Oral health concerns for women

As a woman, the general rules for maintaining good oral health still apply, including a healthy, nutritional diet; a good oral care routine; and regular visits to the dentist. However, sometimes women have unique oral health concerns that need to be considered.

Hormonal changes and fluctuations can influence the oral cavity, and at different stages of life, including puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, women may have special needs when it comes to maintaining their oral health.

During these life stages, women are more likely to develop certain oral health complications that affect their teeth, gums and other parts of their mouth. The reasons why women are more likely to experience these oral conditions are due to shifts in the hormonal balance of progesterone and oestrogen, and other factors linked to female biology.

The following oral conditions and concerns may develop in women over their lifetime:

  • Puberty – gingivitis; increased growth of certain oral bacteria; orthodontic treatment (such as braces); and gum sensitivity.

  • Menstruation – gingivitis; soreness in the mouth; gum swelling, inflammation & bleeding; increased plaque build up; cold sores; and canker sores.

  • Pregnancy – tooth erosion due to vomiting and/or acid reflux; gingivitis; retching while brushing teeth; higher risk of gum disease & other gum problems; calcium deficiencies and dry mouth.,

  • Menopause – inflamed gums; burning sensations; higher risk of gum disease; changes in taste sensation; bone loss; temperature sensitivity; receding gums; and dry mouth from low salivary flow.

None of these oral health complications are inevitable if you are a woman. By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent or avoid most of them. But if you are experiencing any of the oral health issues listed above, visiting your dentist regularly during any of the associated life stages can ensure that they are managed effectively.