Mouth and Dental Health in Women

 

Changes occur in the hormonal levels of women during adolescence, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause periods. These fluctuations in the hormone level affect the mouth and dental health.

 

MOUTH AND DENTAL HEALTH DURING ADOLESCENCE

 

Depending on the hormonal changes, the mouth and dental health are affected especially during menstruation and the gingiva gets more sensitive. In these periods, redness and bleeding can be seen on the gingiva as an indication of gingivitis. Besides, lesions such as canker sores and herpes occur more often during menstruation.

 

MOUTH AND DENTAL HEALTH DURING PREGNANCY

 

Mouth and dental care are very importantduring pregnancy. Because, problems may occur in the mouth and dental health in this period depending on the hormonal changes, and also there are some risks for the treatment of these  issues.

The most  important change during pregnancy is the increase in estrogen and progesterone levels. This results in tooth plaque accumulation and tartar formation, which causes the growth and deterioration of the existing gingival diseases. This affects the majority of pregnant women during the second 3-month period (pregnancy consists of 3 periods, of which last3-months and this  are called trimester).

Besides gingival diseases, gingival hyperplasia called epulis can also be seen. This hyperplasia heals on its own through the end of or after pregnancy. However, it may need to be pulled out if it hurts during the chewing and dental care.

 

Nutrition is very important during pregnancy, both for the overall and dental health of the baby and the mother. On the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy, odontogenesis of the baby begins. So, enough amount of proteins, vitamins A, C, D, calcium, and phosphorus should be taken during pregnancy for the dental health of the baby. Pregnancy has no effect on tooth decays. However, it is colloquially believed that the baby takes the necessary calcium from the mother’s teeth, which causes decaying of them quickly. If the mouth and dental care is done sufficiently, no decays occur. The effect of pregnancy on tooth decay is only  vomiting due to nausea, which increases the acidity in the mouth. However, this acidity can eliminated once the teeth are brushed.

 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TREAT DENTAL DURING PREGNANCY?

 

It is risky to have dental care during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy. The treatment of mouth and dental problems can only be done between the 4th and 6th months. If the treatment is done during the other periods, miscarriage and premature birth may arise. In emergency cases where the treatment is inevitable, the decision should be made by consulting a gynecologist if necessary, by considering whether the dental problem or the treatment would affect the baby’s health more. In order to avoid possible complications, the best thing indeed is to consult a dentist during the planning of pregnancy and getting the necessary dental treatments priorly.

 

Are There Any Processes to Avoid During Pregnancy?

 

The local anesthetic materials that would be applied during pregnancy must not contain octapressin. Since this substance will cause spasms in uterus, it may result in miscarriage or premature birth.

 

Although the radiography that is used in dentistry contains very little amount of dental x-ray and is away from the baby, dental radiography should be avoided during pregnancy unless it’s necessary.

 

Drug utilization during pregnancy is a point to consider. Unnecessary drug utilization should be avoided. The utilization of penicillin and its species during pregnancy is proved to be harmless. However, using tetracycline antibiotics results in tetracycline discoloration on the baby’s teeth.

 

MOUTH AND DENTAL HEALTH DURING MENOPAUSE

 

During menopause, both psychological and hormonal changes are observed in women. These changes affect the mouth and dental health, too. During menopause, unlike pregnancy, estrogen levels decrease. Estrogen is a necessary hormone for calcium absorption, and osteoporosis (bone thinning) occurs in its deficiency. Osteoporosis arises in all the bones in the body. The thinning in the bone tissue surrounding the teeth may result in tooth loss since it causes the tooth to lose its base. Therefore, in order to increase the calcium level, taking calcium and vitamin D that increases the absorption of it will be necessary under the control of a physician during the menopause period.

Dry mouth, burning sensation in the mouth, and sensitivity in teeth and gingiva can also be observed during menopause.

 

THE EFFECT OF CONTRACEPTIVE AGENTS ON MOUTH AND DENTAL HEALTH

 

Because of the hormones they contain, the contraceptives cause similar intraoral changes as in pregnancy. Besides, it is proved that the utilization of contraceptives increases the risk of alveolitis formation 3 times, which can occur after tooth extraction.