Women's Oral Health

Women have some special needs when it comes to dental health, and below we have listed some of the most common issues

Oral Contraceptive Use

Oral contraceptive use may affect oral health, with possible increases in gingivitis. Regular cleanings at the dental office and good home care can go a long way to help.

HPV and Oral Cancer

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, has been associated with increased risk for oral cancer, and there is an alarming increase in this disease in young women. It is believed that oral sexual contact may be responsible for this development. We recommend that women who may have been exposed to HPV orally obtain annual Velscope oral cancer examinations.

Pregnancy and Dental Care

Pregnancy presents challenges to oral health care. Hormone changes can lead to soft tissue problems and gum disease, and studies have shown an association between periodontal disease and preterm birth and other pregnancy complications. The advice to keep up with regular check- ups and practice good home oral hygiene cannot be emphasized enough, and dental cleanings may be recommended every three months if there are any periodontal concerns. Women sometimes mistakenly think that they should avoid dental treatment during pregnancy, but necessary fillings or other dental work should not be put off. We work with obstetricians to make sure that each individual receives appropriate care.

Osteoporosis and Use of Bisphosphonates

Osteoporosis and Bisphosphonate Therapy - Actonil, Boniva, and Fosamax are a class of drugs known as Bisphosphonates. These drugs affect the bone by altering the action of bone cells called osteoclasts. These cells are responsible for the remodeling of bone and are important for bone health. The results of altering the action of these cells can result in changes in the jaw bone healing, especially if treatment of an oral infection and or extraction of a tooth is needed. Although rare, there is an increased risk of osteonecrosis with these medications and the dental team must be made aware of their use so that extra precautions can be made to reduce the risks. If you are obtaining a new prescription for these medications, it is advisable to have all dental work completed before beginning them, including major work such as crowns or bridges, and extraction of any questionable teeth. Orthodontic is also not recommended for patients on these drugs.