The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Maintaining good oral health may have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other disorders. Access to dental care is directly related to income level; the poorest women are least likely to have received dental care. Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period may decrease the amount of caries-producing oral bacteria transmitted to the infant during common parenting behavior, such as sharing spoons. Although some studies have shown a possible association between periodontal infection and preterm birth, evidence has failed to show any improvement in outcomes after dental treatment during pregnancy.
This paper will review aspects of a woman's life when hormonal fluctuations may affect oral tissues. If you lose bone Womens oral health care your jaw, you could lose your teeth. Department of Health and Human Services. American Dental Association. A study conducted in showed an association between maternal periodontal disease and preterm birth car
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France - France. Your best defense is to brush and floss daily and see your dentist regularly. Womens oral health care hormone levels during pregnancy can make gum disease worse or lead to severe gum disease Womens oral health care as many as 2 in 5 pregnant women. Special Issues. Most people should go to Womebs dentist once or twice a year. How do women's hormones affect oral health? Flossing Teeth Properly, How Magazine for teen from memphis Floss Periodontitis can cause sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing, and tooth loss. Saudi Arabia English. This content is WWomens by the Office on Women's Health. Italy - Italia. Lieff, S. The Office on Women's Health is grateful for the medical review in by:. Who we are What we do Work with us Our vision and mission.
Many women, including half of those having dental problems, do not see a dentist during pregnancy.
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Health issues such as diabetes can also affect your oral health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits can help prevent disease in your mouth and the rest of your body.
Oral health is the health of your mouth, including your teeth, gums, throat, and the bones around the mouth. Oral health problems, such as gum disease, might be a sign that you have other health problems. Gum diseases are infections caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If left untreated, the bacteria in plaque can destroy the tissue and bone around your teeth, leading to tooth loss.
The bacteria can travel throughout your body and make you sick. Infections in your mouth can also affect your unborn baby if you are pregnant. Dentists recommend that everyone brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. You can also remove this plaque with tools other than floss.
These tools, called interdental cleaners , include wooden or plastic picks and water flossers. Your dentist may suggest that you come more often if you have a health problem such as diabetes or a weakened immune system. These health problems can make you more likely to develop gum disease or other dental diseases. Women are also at higher risk of gum disease during pregnancy. And gum problems and bone loss may happen more quickly in women after menopause. Talk to your dentist about how often you should visit.
Changing hormone levels at different stages of a woman's life can affect oral health. When your hormone levels change, your gums can get swollen and irritated. Your gums may also bleed, especially during pregnancy, when your body's immune system is more sensitive than usual.
This can cause inflammation redness, swelling, and sometimes pain in the gums. Regular, careful brushing and flossing can lessen gum irritation and bleeding. Hormone levels go up and down throughout your menstrual cycle. During ovulation and a few days before you start your period, higher levels of the hormone progesterone may cause swelling in your gums.
Your gums may be red and bleed more than usual. You may also get canker sores more often during your menstrual period. Canker sores are small ulcers that have a white or gray base and a red border. Canker sores are not the same thing as cold sores, which are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV Canker sores are inside the mouth. Herpes cold sores are on the mouth and lips. You can't pass canker sores to another person, but you can pass herpes cold sores to another person.
Hormonal birth control , such as the pill, shot, vaginal ring, or hormonal intrauterine device IUD , can raise the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in your body.
These higher levels of hormones may make your gums sensitive, red, or swollen. Hormones can also affect how your mouth heals after getting teeth pulled or having other dental treatments. After the dentist pulls a tooth, a clot forms over the empty space, or socket. Women who take hormonal birth control have a higher risk of this clot falling out called dry socket , which exposes the nerves in your gums and can be painful. You can also ask your dentist if you can reschedule your visit for a time when you are taking the inactive pills or have removed the ring or patch.
Pregnancy can make brushing difficult. Some women experience nausea from strongly flavored toothpastes. Switching to a neutral-flavored toothpaste may help. During pregnancy, your hormone levels also go up and down. This raises your risk for several oral health problems: 4. You need to continue your regular dentist visits to help protect your teeth during pregnancy.
Very low levels of the hormone estrogen after menopause can affect your oral health. You may experience: 9. Oral health problems can be a sign of other health problems, such as diabetes.
Your risk for oral health problems is also higher if you have certain health problems, such as HIV and eating disorders. Some people avoid the dentist because they are afraid of the physical pain. Women who experienced trauma or violence may also have trouble sitting or lying in a dentist's chair because of post-traumatic stress or fear. Talk with your dentist about your concerns and ways to make you more comfortable before the exam begins.
For example, you may prefer to see a female dentist or to have a female assistant in the room during the visit. It may also help to bring a friend or loved one to the dentist with you. Your dentist can also help you relax by playing music, having a TV in the room, or using other relaxation techniques. Some dentists may suggest giving you medicine to help you relax.
One common type of medicine is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide can help relieve pain and anxiety, but it may not be a good option if you worry about losing control. If anxiety prevents you from going to the dentist, you may want to talk to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. Therapy may help reduce your fear. Oral health is a vital part of overall health, so removing fear or anxiety about the dentist is worth the time and effort.
Sometimes dental insurance is included in your health insurance plan. Sometimes dental coverage comes from a separate, stand-alone dental plan. Low-cost options may also be available in your area. If you need more information about oral health, call the OWH Helpline at or contact the following organizations:. Jane Atkinson, D. Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated.
This content is provided by the Office on Women's Health. Language Assistance Available. Skip to main content. Popular topics Vision and mission Leadership Programs and activities In your community Funding opportunities Internships and jobs View all pages in this section. Subscribe To receive Publications email updates. Oral health. Expand all. What is oral health? How often should I brush and floss my teeth? How often should I visit the dentist? Most people should go to the dentist once or twice a year.
How do women's hormones affect oral health? Other causes of changing hormone levels that may affect your oral health include: Your menstrual cycle Hormonal birth control Menopause. How does my menstrual cycle affect oral health? How does birth control affect oral health?
How does pregnancy affect oral health? This raises your risk for several oral health problems: 4 Severe gum disease periodontitis. Changing hormone levels during pregnancy can make gum disease worse or lead to severe gum disease in as many as 2 in 5 pregnant women. It's usually caused by not brushing and flossing, or brushing and flossing in a way that allows plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — to build up on the teeth and harden.
Periodontitis can cause sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing, and tooth loss. The tissue supporting your teeth may loosen during pregnancy since many of your joints and tissues loosen in preparation for childbirth. Taking good care of your mouth can help prevent tooth loss. Wearing down of your tooth enamel. If you have morning sickness that causes vomiting, the stomach acid that comes up during vomiting can erode tooth enamel the hard, protective coating on the outside of your teeth.
Heartburn, another common pregnancy discomfort, can also wear down your tooth enamel over time if stomach acid is coming up into your throat and mouth. To prevent this erosion, the American Dental Association recommends rinsing your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of water 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
I'm pregnant. Is it safe for me to get a dental checkup?
You also have a variety of cosmetic options available, including orthodontics braces , whitening both in-office and at-home and bonding veneers. Bright Smiles, Bright Futures. Dentists recommend that everyone brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. If you aren't getting enough to eat, your teeth and jawbone may also become brittle and weak because you aren't getting enough calcium. Italy - Italia.
Womens oral health care. Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for Women’s Health and Well-Being
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Women's Health. Oral Health. Behavioral Health. HIV Case Management. WIC Nutrition Services. Patient Support Services. Patient Resources. Patient Forms. Because gum disease is a bacterial infection, it can enter the bloodstream and may be a factor in causing other health complications: Heart disease: People with gum disease may be more at risk for heart disease and have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack.
Heart disease is also the number one killer of American women. Gum disease may also be a risk factor for diabetes, even in otherwise healthy indviduals. Gum disease may also trigger increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Other important information you should know: Menstruation — some women find that their gums swell and bleed prior to their periods, while others experience cold sores or canker sores.
These symptoms usually go away once your period starts. Oral contraceptives — inflamed gums are one of the most common side effects. Pregnancy — studies show many pregnant women experience pregnancy gingivitis, when dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums.
Symptoms include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. Prenatal care is especially important. Menopause — oral symptoms experienced during this stage of a women's life include red or inflamed gums, oral pain and discomfort, burning sensations, altered taste sensations and dry mouth.
More Articles You May Like. Dental insurance helps you pay for the oral care your family needs. Here's how indemnity dental insurance works and how it differs from other options. The ozone molecule that makes up our atmosphere actually has uses in dentistry, as well. Here's how ozone dentistry works to help improve oral care.
A meridian tooth chart is one component of ancient Chinese medicine. Learn if it meets today's standards for dental care.
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Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Through the Lifespan - ACOG
The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Maintaining good oral health may have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other disorders.
Access to dental care is directly related to income level; the poorest women are least likely to have received dental care. Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period may decrease the amount of caries-producing oral bacteria transmitted to the infant during common parenting behavior, such as sharing spoons. Although some studies have shown a possible association between periodontal infection and preterm birth, evidence has failed to show any improvement in outcomes after dental treatment during pregnancy.
Nonetheless, these studies did not raise any concern about the safety of dental services during pregnancy. To potentiate general health and well-being, women should routinely be counseled about the maintenance of good oral health habits throughout their lives as well as the safety and importance of oral health care during pregnancy.
The World Health Organization Global Oral Health Programme emphasizes this interrelation and notes that oral health is a determining factor for quality of life 2. To prevent tooth decay, oral infections, and tooth loss, the American Dental Association recommends semiannual dental examinations and cleanings as well as daily brushing and flossing 3.
The American Dental Association also affirms the importance of oral health care during pregnancy 4. Oral health disorders, such as periodontitis, are associated with many disease processes, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, respiratory infections, as well as osteoporosis of the oral cavity.
These are all significant diseases that affect women across the lifespan 5— The prevention and treatment of these disorders are essential for general well-being. The efficacy of endocarditis prophylaxis among patients who undergo dental procedures has been controversial based on published studies.
However, the American Heart Association recommends that prophylaxis for dental procedures is reasonable only for patients with heart conditions that place them at the highest risk of adverse outcomes from endocarditis For patients with these conditions, prophylaxis is reasonable for all dental procedures that involve manipulation of gingival tissue or the periapical region of teeth or perforation of the oral mucosa It is important for patients to discuss screening for oral cancer with their dentists.
Although the U. Preventive Services Task Force concludes that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening for oral cancer, approximately 37, new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year with the resultant annual death of 8, individuals 13 , Evidence suggests that an increase in HPV-related oral cancer exists; however, further research is warranted to understand the public health and clinical implications Physiologic changes during pregnancy may result in noticeable changes in the oral cavity 16— These changes include pregnancy gingivitis, benign oral gingival lesions, tooth mobility, tooth erosion, dental caries, and periodontitis see Table 1.
It is important to reassure women about these various changes to the gums and teeth during pregnancy and to reinforce good oral health habits to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Periodontal disease during pregnancy is most prevalent among women who are African American, cigarette smokers, and users of public assistance programs.
A study conducted in showed an association between maternal periodontal disease and preterm birth Since then, other studies have supported this conclusion 21 , Theoretically, blood-borne gram negative anaerobic bacteria or inflammatory mediators, such as lipopolysaccharides and cytokines, may be transported to the placental tissues as well as to the uterus and cervix. This results in increased inflammatory modulators that may precipitate preterm labor, particularly in African Americans However, recent meta-analyses and other large trials have not shown any benefit of periodontal therapy during pregnancy in the reduction of preterm birth and infant low birth weight 24— Similarly, there have been conflicting results with respect to the effect of periodontal disease on preeclampsia 30 , More research is needed in these areas.
Randomized controlled trials of periodontal treatment during the preconception or interconception periods may better define whether prepregnancy treatment could reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. Despite the lack of evidence for a causal relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes, the treatment of maternal periodontal disease during pregnancy is not associated with any adverse maternal or birth outcomes.
Moreover, prenatal periodontal therapy is associated with the improvement of maternal oral health 26— For women of lower socioeconomic status, pregnancy provides a unique opportunity to obtain dental care because of Medicaid insurance assistance with prenatal medical and dental coverage.
However, most women do not seek dental care. Prenatal counseling about oral health care has been shown to be highly correlated with teeth cleaning during pregnancy Dental and obstetric teams can be influential in helping women initiate and maintain oral health care during pregnancy to improve lifelong oral hygiene habits and dietary behavior for women and their families. For example, women with poor oral health may harbor high levels of Streptococcus mutans in their saliva.
These bacteria can be transmitted to their infants during common parenting behavior, such as sharing spoons or licking pacifiers. Minimizing the number of cariogenic bacteria in pregnant mothers through good oral health may delay or prevent the onset of colonization of these bacteria in their infants, which results in less early childhood caries 34— Most obstetricians and dentists agreed that pregnant women should undergo dental services but many dentists were concerned about the safety of dental procedures and medications during pregnancy Obstetricians were more comfortable with their patients undergoing dental procedures during pregnancy but were less likely than dentists to recommend dental care to their patients Improved training in the importance of oral health, recognition of oral health problems, and knowledge of procedure safety during pregnancy may make health care providers more comfortable with assessing oral health and more likely to address it with patients Oral health care during pregnancy: a national consensus statement.
Retrieved May 17, A simple approach to prenatal assessment can be accomplished by using the questions provided in Box 1. As part of routine counseling, health care providers should encourage all women to schedule a dental examination if it has been more than 6 months since their last examination or if they have any oral health problems. Patients often need reassurance that prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral conditions, including dental X-rays with shielding of the abdomen and thyroid and local anesthesia lidocaine with or without epinephrine , are safe during pregnancy.
Conditions that require immediate treatment, such as extractions, root canals, and restoration amalgam or composite of untreated caries, may be managed at any time during pregnancy. Delaying treatment may result in more complex problems. Counseling should include reinforcement of routine oral health maintenance, such as limiting sugary foods and drinks, brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing once daily, and dental visits twice a year.
Dental providers often recommend the use of chlorhexidine and fluoridated mouth rinses, and xylitol-containing chewing gum to decrease oral bacteria. No adverse effects have been reported with these products during pregnancy but they have not been studied extensively. For patients with vomiting secondary to morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, or gastric reflux during late pregnancy, the use of antacids or rinsing with a baking soda solution ie, 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water may help neutralize the associated acid.
The greatest burden of oral disease lies in disadvantaged and poor populations where considerable unmet need for dental care is observed. Access to dental care was directly related to income level; the poorest women were least likely to have received dental care. Aside from financial constraints and lack of insurance coverage, barriers to dental care among those underserved include lack of education, lack of access to transportation, and lack of dental providers.
Additional factors that complicate oral health among the underserved include poor nutrition and higher rates of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use.
These factors also are apparent during pregnancy. Advocacy for broader oral health coverage of women before, during, and after pregnancy will optimize their general and oral health. Although Medicaid often covers dental visits during pregnancy, additional barriers to care include lack of awareness by health care and dental providers and women about the safety of dental care during pregnancy.
Obstetric providers should refer women for dental care in a timely manner with a written note or call, as would be the practice with referrals to any medical specialist. Regular dental care is a key component to good oral and general health. Despite the lack of evidence that prenatal oral health care improves pregnancy outcomes, ample evidence shows that oral health care during pregnancy is safe and should be recommended to improve the oral and general health of the woman.
For many women, obstetrician—gynecologists are the most frequently accessed health care professional, which creates a unique opportunity to educate women throughout their lifespan, including during pregnancy, about the importance of dental care and good oral hygiene.
All rights reserved. Oral health care during pregnancy and through the lifespan. Committee Opinion No. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol ;— Women's Health Care Physicians.
General Health Oral health disorders, such as periodontitis, are associated with many disease processes, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, respiratory infections, as well as osteoporosis of the oral cavity. Pregnancy Physiologic changes during pregnancy may result in noticeable changes in the oral cavity 16— Table 1.
Common Oral Health Conditions During Pregnancy Pregnancy gingivitis An increased inflammatory response to dental plaque during pregnancy causes the gingivae to swell and bleed more easily in most women.
Rinsing with saltwater ie, 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water may help with the irritation. Pregnancy gingivitis typically peaks during the third trimester.
Women who have gingivitis before pregnancy are more prone to exacerbation during pregnancy. These lesions may result from a heightened inflammatory response to oral pathogens and usually regress after pregnancy. Excision is rarely necessary but may be needed if there is severe pain, bleeding, or interference with mastication. Tooth mobility Ligaments and bone that support the teeth may temporarily loosen during pregnancy, which results in increased tooth mobility. There is normally not any tooth loss unless other complications are present.
Tooth erosion Erosion of tooth enamel may be more common because of increased exposure to gastric acid from vomiting secondary to morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, or gastric reflux during late pregnancy. Rinsing with a baking soda solution ie, a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water may help neutralize the associated acid. Dental caries Pregnancy may result in dental caries due to the increased acidity in the mouth, greater intake of sugary snacks and drinks secondary to pregnancy cravings, and decreased attention to prenatal oral health maintenance.
Periodontitis Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, an inflammatory response in which a film of bacteria, known as plaque, adheres to teeth and releases bacterial toxins that create pockets of destructive infection in the gums and bones. The teeth may loosen, bone may be lost, and a bacteremia may result. Oral health during pregnancy. Dental manifestations of pregnancy. Maternal oral health in pregnancy.
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Obstetric outcomes after treatment of periodontal disease during pregnancy: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ ;c Box 1. Sample Oral Health Questions Do you have swollen or bleeding gums, a toothache, problems eating or chewing food, or other problems in your mouth?
When was your last dental visit? Do you need help finding a dentist? Access to Dental Care The greatest burden of oral disease lies in disadvantaged and poor populations where considerable unmet need for dental care is observed.