Women’s Dental Health
Women face a different set of challenges than men do in caring for their teeth and gums.
They also have different advantages.
Oral Health Issues that Affect Women More
Women make up 90% of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) diagnoses. TMD can be caused by bruxism, joint structure, stress, arthritis, vitamin deficiency, or hormones. Another condition that disproportionately affects women is Sjörgen’s syndrome, which causes dry mouth. Beyond making chewing and swallowing uncomfortable and muting the sense of taste, dry mouth is dangerous for teeth and gum health.
Hormone Changes Versus Oral Health
The hormonal changes of puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can cause oral health problems. Gingivitis and gum inflammation become more likely, which means brushing and flossing are even more essential. Dry mouth and bone loss in the jaw are associated with menopause, so it’s important to keep the dentist in the loop.
Teenage girls are twice as likely to develop eating disorders as teenage boys. Eating disorders attack oral health in two ways: weakening the oral tissues through malnutrition and (in the case of bulimia) destroying tooth enamel directly through acid erosion.
The Silver Lining
So what’s the good news? Women are better than men at taking care of their teeth! Women are more likely to keep up with their daily oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits. They’re also more willing to go to the dentist when they experience tooth pain, while men might try to tough it out. Even though women are more vulnerable to certain issues, they can significantly reduce the impact by taking care of their teeth.