As Elite Dental has a predominantly female team of staff, as well as stacks of fabulous female patients, we think that the oral health of women, and the way in which their oral health may be affected at different stages in their lives, is an important topic for discussion.
Whilst anatomically there may not be significant differences in the mouths of men and women, there are differences in how the two sexes are affected by oral disease – and it comes down to our hormones.
The first major hormonal surge occurs around puberty, and in teenage girls results in a significant production of oestrogen and progesterone. As well as the physical and emotional changes that occur during this time, these hormones play a role in oral health by increasing blood supply to the gums, which can increase their sensitivity to plaque and result in inflammation of the gums, commonly known as gingivitis.
As hormones continue to fluctuate throughout a woman’s cycle, as well as during pregnancy and menopause, gum health may continue to be affected throughout life. As progesterone levels increase, levels of gum inflammation may become greater, giving way to conditions such as menstrual gingivitis in premenstrual women or pregnancy gingivitis in expectant women. Even the contraceptive pill can increase your risk of gingivitis due to the progesterone content. Left untreated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis (gum disease) in susceptible individuals, which can cause bad breath, wobbly teeth and even tooth loss.
The good news is that in the majority of cases, good oral hygiene coupled with biannual visits to your dental professional for a check up and clean is enough to keep your gum health in check. Our hygienist will also review your brushing and flossing technique to ensure that it is effective in removing the bacteria that cause decay and gingivitis.
If you have any concerns or are just due for your regular check up and clean, call Elite Dental on 02 9519 6098 to book your appointment today!