Six Little-Known Things That Impact Your Oral Health
In honor of National Women’s Health Week, let’s find out what’s really going on in your mouth.
During menopause, women’s estrogen levels decrease. So, what does this have to do with your mouth? Estrogen affects saliva production and if your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, you may experience sore, sensitive gums, dry mouth, cavities, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
It’s pretty common for pregnant women to experience red, sore gums. Why is this? Hormones! As many as 40 percent of pregnant women have gum disease. The building up of plaque causes bacteria to spread inflammation throughout the body and can even put women at risk for preterm delivery.
Did you know that 80 percent of Americans with osteoporosis are women? It’s true. Post-menopausal women are more prone to developing osteoporosis due to their body’s loss of estrogen, which keeps bones strong, and oral problems can arise as a result of bone loss in the jaw.
4. Heart Disease
Heart disease is currently the number one killer of women in America. Inflammation of the gums can contribute to overall inflammation that hardens arteries and reduces the circulation of blood, leading to an increased risk for a stroke or heart attack.
5. Birth control
Inflamed gums are common side effects of hormonal birth control like pills, IUDs, rings, and shots.
Smoking, heavy drinking, and extreme dieting make for an unhappy mouth.