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Oral Health

Women and Oral Health

You need to have good oral health at all stages of your life. As a woman, your changing hormone levels during puberty, your monthly period, and menopause cause changes in your mouth. These hormonal changes can cause:
  • Frequent cold sores and canker sores
  • Gingivitis during puberty
  • Dry mouth (often also linked to using certain medicines)
  • Changes in taste
  • Increased risk of gum disease
  • Bone weakness during menopause.

Oral Health and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you have special oral health needs:
  • Try to have a complete oral exam prior to or very early in your pregnancy. All needed dental work should be done before the pregnancy or between the fourth and sixth month of pregnancy. It is possible to have urgent treatment for a problem during pregnancy, but it can present risks to your baby. Treatments are most dangerous during the first three months. If you are in the last three months of pregnancy, you can have treatment, but you may find the dental chair uncomfortable.
  • If you haven't already, start practicing good oral hygiene and eating a healthy diet. Thoroughly brush and floss your teeth daily. By doing this, you can control your risk for gum inflammation and disease.
  • Some pregnant women get gum disease -- a problem called pregnancy gingivitis -- which raises their chances for getting more serious gum disease. This condition can be caused both by poor oral hygiene and increased hormone levels during pregnancy. Having this problem can cause discomfort when you brush or floss, but it's important to not stop brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Pregnant women with gum diseases are much more likely to have premature babies of low birth weight.
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters
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