During the puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause stages, the levels of the sex hormones in a woman’s body changes. These fluctuations in hormonal levels effect oral and dental health.
Oral and Dental Health in Puberty
Oral and dental health is effected during the menstruation period due to hormonal changes in the body, particularly the gums get more sensitive. Rashes and bleeding in gums which are signs of infection may be experienced during this period. Additionally, lesions such as apthous ulcers and cold sores are more commonly experienced during menstruation.
Oral and Dental Health During Pregnancy
Oral and dental health gets much more important during pregnancy. That is because the individual may experience problems in her oral health due to the hormonal changes, and there are some risks involved during the treatment of these problems.
The most important change in an individual’s body during pregnancy is the rising levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. This situation causes dental plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth, therefore triggers growth of existing gingival diseases and make them even more uncomfortable. This happens specifically in pregnant women during their second and third months of their pregnancy – pregnancy is made up of 3 different 3-month stages which are called trimesters.
Gingival enlargement – which is called “epulis” – may also be experienced during pregnancy as well as gingival diseases. This sort of enlargement heal spontaneously either by the last stages of pregnancy or after giving birth. However if this condition causes discomfort during chewing and dental care processes, it might have to be removed.
Nutrition during pregnancy is quite important for both the mother’s and the baby’s overall and dental and oral health. The development of teeth starts during the 5 – 6 months into the pregnancy. Therefore in order to keep the baby’s oral and dental health in shape, the mother should consume sufficient proteins, A, C, and D vitamins, along with calcium and phosphorus. Pregnancy does not affect caries. However there’s a colloquial notion that the baby draws its calcium need from its mother’s teeth, causing the mother’s teeth to decay. If the oral and dental care is maintained, the mother won’t suffer from dental caries. The effect of pregnancy on dental caries is only caused by the rise of acidity in the mother’s mouth due to nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – which is removed after brushing the teeth.
Can I Get Dental Treatment During Pregnancy?
It is ill – advised to get a dental treatment in the first and the last three months into the pregnancy. The oral and dental health issues should only be treated between the fourth and the sixth months. Treatments applied in other stages may cause miscarriage or premature birth. In emergencies where the mother must receive a dental treatment, it must be taken into consideration whether the existing problem or its treatment may affect the fetus’ development more. A gynecologist might be consulted if needed. In order to remove any possible complications, the best way is consulting with your dentist during the planning of the pregnancy, and receive the needed treatments beforehand.
Are There Any Procedures I Should Avoid During Pregnancy?
The materials used in local anesthesia during pregnancy must absolutely not contain octapressin. Since this material may cause spasms in uterus, it may therefore cause miscarriage or premature birth.
Although the X-rays used in dentistry are deployed in small doses and not directed towards the fetus, it’s better to not to take X-rays during pregnancy unless it’s needed.
Drug consumption during pregnancy is an another point to be careful of. Pregnant women should avoid unnecessary drug consumption. It was concluded that the usage of penicillin and its derivatives do not harm the fetus. The usage of antibiotics in the tetracycline group during pregnancy causes teeth stains in your baby’s mouth named “tetracycline staining”. However the tetracycline group does not affect the teeth in people older than the age of 10.
Oral and Dental Health During Menopause
Both hormonal and psychological changes occur in women during menopause. These changes also effect oral and dental health. Contrary to the pregnancy period, estrogen levels drop down during menopause. Estrogen is a hormone that is required for the body to absorb calcium, and its deficiency ultimately causes osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs in every bone of the body. Since the dissolution of the bone tissue surrounding the teeth causes the teeth to lose its support, it may cause teeth to come loose. Therefore in order to raise the calcium levels in the body during menopause, individuals should take vitamin D which enhances both calcium and its absorption in the body under doctoral supervision.
Dryness, a burning feeling and sensitivity in the mouth may also be experienced during menopause.
The Effect of Birth Control Methods in Oral and Dental Health
Contraceptive drugs cause oral changes that are similar to the ones in pregnancy due to the hormones they contain. Additionally, it was concluded that contraceptive drugs triples the risk of alveolitis – inflamed tooth sockets that are experienced after tooth extractions.
The expert dentists in Lotus Dental Clinic give information to women patients about oral and dental health during puberty and menopause.