It’s official. Women and men are NOT created dentally equal. Of course, good dental hygiene habits are necessary for all people, regardless of gender. But growing evidence shows women may be significantly more susceptible to serious health consequences unless they maintain a truly vigilant home hygiene campaign against tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, in every season of a woman’s life, she’s wise to take special precautions with regard to her oral health: during every monthly cycle, during pregnancy, and especially after menopause.
First, monthly hormone fluctuations result in increased salivary proteins making women prone to bad breath just prior to their monthly cycles. Pregnancy is another time for extra-vigilant dental hygiene, as a mother’s dental health impacts not only her own oral health but also on the health of her developing child, as early as six weeks after conception. Poor oral health has been linked to pre-mature and low birth weight babies. Further, the presence of periodontal disease in women is closely linked to the incidence of osteoporosis, and vice versa. Thus older women should be screened for osteoporosis and simultaneously make certain they have thorough dental examinations at least twice a year, at which time recommendations can be made to help enhance your home care effectiveness.