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Five Dental Health Issues for Women to Know

By March 16, 2017 - 9:45am

Not all diseases are created equal. Although men can get breast cancer, more often than not, women are the ones with breast cancer. The same is true for osteoporosis. Women usually end up with the disease even though men do have it some times. Certain issues in dental health also are one-sided along gender lines. Here are some issues that women should understand regarding their dental health. This article is written with the help of cosmetic dentist 7448 East Main Street Mesa, AZ 85207.

Female hormones are more likely to lead to cold sores and canker sores, dry mouth, changes in tastes and a higher risk of gum disease.

Canker sores
These sores are small ulcers inside the mouth. They have a white or gray base and a red border. Women are more likely than men to have canker sores that recur. You might get canker sores from fatigue, stress, menstruation, a cut on your cheek or tongue, allergies, Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. They often heal on their own in one to three weeks. You will want to avoid spicy foods, rinse with salt water, and use pain medicines while they are healing.

Cold sores
These small, painful sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. Once you are exposed to the virus, it can hide in your body for years. Things that trigger the virus and lead to cold sores include getting too much sun, having an infection, menstruation, and stress. Cold sores can spread from person to person. They most often form on the lips and sometimes under the nose or chin. The sores heal in about seven to 10 days without scarring.

Dry mouth
Dry mouth happens when you don't have enough saliva, or spit, in your mouth. Dry mouth may make it hard to eat, swallow, taste and speak. If left untreated, it can lead to cavities.

Gum diseases
Gum diseases are infections caused by bacteria, along with mucus and other particles that form a sticky plaque on your teeth. Plaque that is left on teeth hardens and forms tartar. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It causes red, swollen gums. It can also make the gums bleed easily. Gingivitis can be caused by plaque buildup. And the longer plaque and tartar stay on teeth, the more harm they do. Most gingivitis can be treated with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings at the dentist's office. This form of gum disease does not lead to loss of bone or tissue around the teeth. But if it is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis. Then the gums pull away from the teeth and form infected "pockets." You may also lose supporting bone.

Pregnancy and Dental Health

If you are pregnant, you have other oral health issues. Before you become pregnant, you should do everything to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You also want to eat a balanced diet that includes calcium; protein; phosphorous; and vitamins A, C, and D.

If you are pregnant:
Have a complete oral exam early in your pregnancy. Because you are pregnant, your dentist might not take routine X-rays. But if you need X-rays, the health risk to your unborn baby is small.
Remember dental work during pregnancy is safe. The best time for treatment is between the 14th and 20th weeks. In the last months, you might be uncomfortable sitting in a dental chair.
Have all needed dental treatments. If you avoid treatment, you may risk your own and your baby's health.
Use good oral hygiene to control your risk of gum diseases. Pregnant women may have changes in taste and develop red, swollen gums that bleed easily. This condition is called pregnancy gingivitis.

Whether you are pregnant or not, you have to take care of your teeth and gums to avoid the diseases that women are more prone to have.

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