Women suffer more from dental problems as compared to men. They undergo lot of changes in their life time and at every stage there are lot of changes in hormones especially sex hormones. First comes the puberty and with this comes the menstruation. Before the stage of menstruation, women experience lot of dental problems. When they are on birth control pills, it also affects the oral health. During pregnancy they really have to take care of their dental health because during pregnancy there is a lot of fluctuation in their body hormones and at that time they should know which procedure they should undergo and which problem is a common during pregnancy to avoid unnecessarily panic e.g. during pregnancy bleeding from gums is a common dental problem. Some start panicking and instead of going to the dentist they stop brushing which exaggerates the problem. Then comes the phase when women become mother. At that time she has to take care of not only her teeth but also the teeth of her toddler. The baby’s dental health is also dependent upon the mother. Then comes the menopause. This phase of life is not only important hormone wise but it has psychological affect also and after this time comes the time when a women become seniors when they have many problems with age like difficulty in holding the brush.
Puberty is the stage when a lot of hormonal changes occur in the body of a girl. The swelling in gums occur which is called Puberty gingivitis and because of this the gums become very sensitive and get irritated. Girls in puberty get conscious of their body and fall prey of eating disorder called Bulimia which can be diagnosed by seeing the condition of the teeth and gums. The teeth enamel starts dissolving and one can see the red scratched area at the back of the throat.
During this period there are monthly fluctuations of hormones. In some cases the incidence of ulceration or cold sores are related to the menstrual cycle. So the dentist can relate the problem to the menstrual cycle and accordingly prescribe the medicine.
Birth control pills which are oral contraceptives have their own side effects. Most common are dry mouth and gingivitis. A women who is taking oral contraceptive should tell the dentist about this because the estrogen in the birth pill can cause the problem of dry socket after the extraction. Dry socket is a very painful condition in which the hole or gap left behind after extraction does not heal. Few drugs such as penicillin or tetra cycline reduce the affect of oral contraceptives. So women should be aware of these factors before going for any dental treatment.
Most common dental problem which occurs in pregnancy is Pregnancy gingivitis i.e. the gums start bleeding and get inflamed. The teeth should be brushed and flossed regularly. Certain dental procedures which have to be performed should be avoided in 1st trimester after that it is considered safe. Most women think that during pregnancy the teeth become weak as the calcium from the teeth is drawn off and it is used for the development of the baby. It is a myth. The calcium for the development of the baby comes from the diet. Tooth decay is more because the women tend to take more of sugary diet and they don’t take care of the teeth. Lot of Vitamin C and Vitamin B12 should be taken along with a healthy nutritious diet. Frequent visit to the dentist and getting the cleaning done from dentist is a must for healthy gums and teeth.
When the baby is born, baby’s mouth is free from any bacteria. The bacteria is transferred from the mouth of parents during kissing and cuddling. So it is very important for the parents to have healthy teeth and gums. The baby cannot brush or clean its mouth. Parents should clean the gum and the tongue of the child with wet gauge piece or cotton cloth wrapped around the finger. When the milk teeth start erupting they should be cleaned. The main cause of caries in children is bottle feed and that is also called nursing bottle caries. The bottle feed should be avoided as far as possible. Mother’s should breast feed the child in the 1st year and then directly the child should be fed with either spoon or cup. After the feed the child should be given a sip of water to clean the residual milk from the mouth.
Parents should be aware of the Teething problem in children. When the milk teeth start erupting the child experiences a lot of discomfort and itching. At that time either some local anaesthetic agent can be rubbed in that area or the child can be given clean teethers otherwise child tries to put everything around him in his mouth or his dirty hands which lead to infection like fever, diarrhea.
Mostly mothers think that the milk teeth are going to be replaced with permanent teeth so there is no need to take care of them. But it is wrong because healthy; caries free milk teeth can give way to healthy, well aligned permanent teeth.
It has psychological and hormonal importance. Few hormones cease to secrete so women in menopause experience few dental problems like burning sensation in mouth, hot and cold sensation, Xerostomia i.e. dry mouth and even osteoporosis of the jaw. While consulting the dentist the history of menopause is very important because along with the dental treatment one needs hormonal replacement therapy also i.e. HRT.
The senior have their own problems because of age. Few lose their teeth and wear dentures. For them regular dental check up is must ; as the structure of the mouth keeps changing and dentures become loose so to assure that the dentures fit properly they have to visit the dentist. Few have difficulty in holding the brush. In that case dentist can help them by giving them substitution like lengthening the handle of the brush or altering so that the grip improves. Seniors have certain medical problems and for that they need medication. So when they visit the dentist, they should give proper medical history because few problems can take place due to the medication they are taking or due to certain drugs recommended by the dentist.
If the women want to have a beautiful smile the key is to have healthy teeth and gums, which is possible only if they take good care of their oral health.
The best way to keep the dental complications to be minimal is to go for regular dental checkups, get the treatments done which are recommended to keep the teeth and gums healthy.
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