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How is a woman’s oral health connected to her overall health?

Oral health is related to women's overall health, especially during pregnancy. Research has shown that poor oral hygiene is connected to low birth weight and preterm labor. It is recommended that women seek dental care prior to and during pregnancy.

The healthier your mouth and gums are, the more likely you are to be healthy overall. Your mouth is a window into the health of your body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems although there is no conclusive research showing that severe gum disease raises a risk of heart disease.

Many women have special oral health needs and considerations since hormonal fluctuations can have a surprisingly strong influence on the oral cavity. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and use of contraceptive medications all influence women’s oral health.

 

The connection between your oral health and your overall health is no secret. The two are directly related. As a woman you may experience certain oral problems during phases of your life when your hormone levels are changing. In the days leading up to your period, it isn’t unusual for your gums to become inflamed or start bleeding. This generally goes away as soon as you start menstruating. Similarly, menopause can also exacerbate problems with your gums, as well as cause your mouth to become dry. Some women even experience a burning sensation. Pregnancy may cause issues as well. Women carrying a child often develop a type of gum disease called pregnancy gingivitis. It isn’t uncommon to experience gum inflammation if you are taking oral contraceptives either.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.