the right smile

Educating Patients on their Oral Health Options

Dentist Buckhead: Women and their Oral Health Issues

Leave a comment

As a woman, why do I have to worry about oral health?

women exercisingEveryone needs to take care of their oral health. But female hormones can lead to an increase in some problems, such as:

•Cold sores and canker sores

•Dry mouth

•Changes in taste

•Higher risk of gum disease

Cold sores are small, painful sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1.  Once you are exposed to the virus, it can hide in your body for years. Things that trigger the virus and lead to cold sores include:

•Getting too much sun

•Having a cold or infection

•Having your period

•Feeling stressed

Cold sores can spread from person to person. They most often form on the lips and sometimes under the nose or chin. The sores heal in about 7 to 10 days without scarring. You can buy over-the-counter drugs to put on cold sores to help relieve pain. If you get cold sores a lot, talk with your doctor or dentist about a prescription for an antiviral drug. These drugs can help reduce healing time and the number of new sores.

Canker sores are small ulcers inside the mouth. They have a white or gray base and a red border. Women are more likely than men to have canker sores that recur. The cause of canker sores is unknown. Risk factors include:

•Fatigue

•Stress

•Having your period

•A cut on the inside of your cheek or on your tongue

•Allergies

•Celiac disease

•Crohn’s disease

Canker sores most often heal on their own in one to three weeks. See your dentist if you get a large sore (larger than a half inch, or about the size of a dime). You may need medicine prescribed to treat it.

To help with pain:

•Avoid hot, spicy foods

•Use mild mouthwashes or salt water

•Try over-the-counter pain medicines

No proven way exists to prevent canker sores.  If you get them often, talk with your dentist.

Another issue women experience is burning mouth. It is most common in postmenopausal women.  Women with this condition describe a burning feeling in the mouth or tongue.  Unfortunately, the cause is unknown, but given that it occurs in the mouth, it might be linked to:

•Hormones

•Dry mouth (which can be caused by many medicines and disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome or diabetes)

•Taste problems

•Nutritional deficiencies

•Use of ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medicines)

•Anxiety and depression

•Dentures that do not fit

•Infections (especially fungal infections)

Talk to your doctor or dentist if you have burning mouth.  Treatment depends on the cause — if it can be determined — and might include adjusting your dentures, vitamin supplements, or pain or other medicines or referring back to physician for a global diagnosis.

Taking good care of your teeth and gums can help you avoid or lessen these oral health problems.  If we can be of service, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles

Advertisements

Author: Drs. Novy and ZoAnna Scheinfeld and Hanna Orland

Our team provides your family with contemporary, rewarding, and comfortable dental care. In our Sandy Springs office, patients come first. Everything we do, from the office design, to our clinical and management training, to the friendly atmosphere we foster in the practice, is for your pleasure and satisfaction. Dr. Scheinfeld, a graduate of Emory University School of Dentistry and her associates understand the importance of balancing health and beauty for an amazing smile. Our comprehensive studies in cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and general dentistry, supported with state-of-the-art technology, deliver the strong, healthy, beautiful smile you deserve—the smile you'll feel comfortable sharing with your world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s